Investing.com – The number of people who filed for first-time unemployment assistance in the U.S. rose by 6,000 last week to a four-week high of , in a possible sign that the country’s red-hot labor market may be cooling.
Economists had expected initial claims to rise by only 2,000 to 225,000.
The four-week moving average was , a decline of 2,500 from the previous week, the U.S. Department of Labor said. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Continuing jobless claims rose to from 1,758,000, a thousand more than forecast.
Although February’s employment report showed a sharp slowdown in job creation, the American labor market still shows signs of strength with the jobless rate falling and wage inflation on the rise.
The latest Fed Beige Book noted that “employment increased in most Districts” and pointed to “notable worker shortages for positions relating to information technology, manufacturing, trucking, restaurants and construction”.
The National Federation of Independent Business said that job creation among small businesses broke a 45-year record in February.
“Owners are reporting increasing employment at their firms at the highest rates in survey history, now they just need workers to fill them,” NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg said at the time.
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