Despite fears of a recession, the labor market shows no signs of weakening. The number of first-time jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 222,000 for the week ended Sept. 3, according to Department of Labor data released Thursday.
Initial weekly damage rate, which is at its lowest level in just over three months, is down from last week’s revised level of 228,000 and below economists’ expectations of 240,000, according to Refinitiv estimates.
Sustained unemployment benefit claims for the week ended Sept. 3 rose 36,000 to 1.47 million, the highest level in nearly five months. according to the Ministry of Labor.
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“We don’t expect the initial claims to continue to fall, but we don’t expect a sharp spike either,” Nancy Vanden Houten, chief US economist at Oxford Economics, told CNN Business. “Even as the economy is weighed down by higher interest rates, labor markets are only beginning to ease slightly. So we think employers will be reluctant to let employees go and delay hiring at first.”
Vanden Houten added that she expects ongoing claims to follow more closely with the initial claims, and that the latest rise likely reflects the volatility of non-seasonally adjusted estimates provided by California.