Applications for unemployment benefits in USA grow to six-month high

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to their highest level in six months. The applications submitted for the first time, grew by 21,000 to 275,000 during the week ended December 17. This is the highest value since June, according to data of the Ministry of Labour.

The economists expected value of 256,000 new applications for unemployment benefits, which slightly disappointed the markets. However, the data are sometimes volatile from week to week, but the overall trend shows that companies hire more people than released.

The largest increases in initial jobless claims for the week ending December 10 were in Illinois (+2,787), Florida (+566), Colorado (+485), Kansas (+477), and Indiana (+476), while the largest decreases were in New York (-13,110), Pennsylvania (-9,655), Texas (- 4,685), Wisconsin (-4,127), and Minnesota (-3,563).

The four-week average value, which clears this volatility increased by 6,000 to 263,750 applications. The applications are below 300,000 for already 94 consecutive weeks.

These data are usually hesitant about holidays, but experts say the Ministry of Labour has no specific factors that influence values.

A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week’s data and that no states had been estimated. Last week’s claims data covered the survey period for December non-farm payrolls. The four-week average of claims increased 10,750 between the November and December survey period, suggesting some moderation in job gains.

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