U.S. Jobless Claims Edge Up to 216,000, Matching Projections

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-07-18/u-s-jobless-claims-edge-up-to-216-000-matching-projections

Workers powder-coat components at a facility in Williamsburg, Iowa.

Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose slightly while still remaining around a historically low level that’s consistent with a tight labor market.

Jobless claims rose to 216,000 in the week ended July 13, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday that matched estimates in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. The four- week average, a less-volatile measure, edged down to a five-week low of 218,750.

Key Insights

  • Claims ticked up in a labor market that has been showing steady and gradual improvement. Unemployment filings remain below the five-year average of about 250,000 and the government’s latest monthly jobs report exceeded forecasts with broad improvement across industries.
  • Labor markets have remained tight, with companies experiencing difficulties filling open positions, according to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book
    released
    Wednesday. Policy makers said in their June
    statement
    the job market remains strong, and Chairman Jerome Powell has highlighted solid employment as supporting continued economic growth.

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  • Continuing claims, reported with a one-week lag, fell by 42,000 to a four-week low of 1.69 million in the week ended July 6.
  • The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.2%, a level that’s been unchanged for more than a year.
  • The prior week’s claims tally was revised down to 208,000 from 209,000.

— With assistance by Chris Middleton

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