The number of Americans filing UI claims increased more than expected last week and the number of unemployed reached its highest level in 10 months, suggesting a slowdown in the labor market. job.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 8,000 to 225,000 seasonally adjusted for the week ended Feb. 23, the Department of Labor said Thursday. Data from the previous week have been revised to indicate 1,000 more requests received compared to previous reports.
The Labor Department stated that no state had been estimated. Economists polled by Reuters expected a number of requests of 220,000 in the last week. The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, as it avoids week-to-week volatility, declined from 7,000 to 229,000 last week.
The claims report showed that the number of people receiving benefits after a first week of assistance increased from 79,000 to 1.81 million for the week ended Feb. 16, the highest level since April 2018. The moving average four weeks of these so-called continuing claims increased from $ 6,750 to $ 1.76 million.
Data for current claims covered the week of the household survey from which the February unemployment rate would be calculated. The average of four-week claims increased by 31,750 between the January and February survey periods. The unemployment rate rose by a tenth of a percentage point to 4.0% in January.