U.S. unemployment claims fell sharply, the labor department says

DORAL, FL – U.S. unemployment claims fell sharply last week, according to the latest report of the Labor Department released Wednesday. 

Jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to 209,000. The week before this number was in 233,000, which had been the highest since August. The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, fell by 750 to 220,000.

The report also notes that 1.84 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits the week that ended Nov. 11, down by 22,000 from the week before.

Regarding monthly hiring, the Labor Department says so far in 2023 has averaged a still solid 239,000, but it’s come in below 200,000 in three of the last five months. In comparison, employers added a record 606,000 jobs a month in 2021 and nearly 400,000 last year. Employers are also posting fewer job openings, the report indicates. 

The above means hiring has slowed from the rapid pace of 2021 and 2022 when the economy got back on its feet unexpectedly from the COVID-19 recession. 

According to experts, these numbers are proof of job market resiliency, economic growth and a change in the predictions that stated the economy could enter a recession this year.

This is more notable taking into account the Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate 11 times since March 2022 to slow the economy and bring inflation to a more normal rate given that it hit a four-decade high last year. 

Inflation has decelerated markedly. In June 2022, consumer prices were up 9.1% from a year earlier. Last month, year-over-year inflation was down to 3.2%, though it remained above the Fed’s 2% target.

Everything indicates that a slow but steady job market with a better scenario in U.S. unemployment claims in addition to a more normal inflation rate has increased expectations about slowing economic activity enough to control inflation without tipping the United States into a recession, according to a news report by the AP.


Photo by: Pixabay.com

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