As per recent statement by the Labor Department, unemployment claims have reached 287,000 from 20,000 on Thursday, reaching the highest level in almost six months. The latest report finds number of unemployment claims filed by Americans reaching more than projected during the Christmas season. As per the estimation by 30 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, the unemployment rate could reach 270, 000, but the latest analysis showed more than the projected value. As per estimates from economists in the Bloomberg survey, claims for the weekly unemployment ranged from 259,000 to 287,000 with last week’s figured unrevised at 267, 000. There seem to have 277,000 increases in the four-week moving average, a less volatile measure than the weekly claims numbers, from 272,500, last week.
It has been speculated that the increase in the unemployment rate has been due to the volatility introduced when the numbers are adjusted for seasonal variations. It has been reported that limitation of firings, steady hiring and an unemployment rate at the seven-year low underscore job market has caused the Federal Reserve to lift interest rates last month for the first time since 2006. Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colo., who correctly projected the jump, said “We do have to discount the heightened volatility we have around this time of the year. When the dust settles, we'll see claims drop back down. There will be continued slow improvement in the labor market”.
As per the statistical figures released for the week that ended December 19, number of people continuing to receive benefits rose by 3,000 to 2.2 million. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.6%. These data are reported with a one-week lag. As per the data released last month, the economy added 211,000 workers in November, and the unemployment rate held at 5%, the lowest in more than seven years. On December 16, Fed policymakers set the new target range for the federal funds rate at 0.25% to 0.5%, up from zero to 0.25%.