US weekly jobless claims increase


The number of people filing for US unemployment benefits rose slightly in the week ending December 30, due to volatility in the year-end holidays, the US Labour Department has indicated.

The seasonally-adjusted figure of initial jobless claims across the United States was 250,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The four-week moving average was 241,750, an increase of 3,500 from the previous week’s revised average, said the Labour Department on Thursday.

Although the number of jobless claims inched up last week, it was still well below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong labor market.

With jobless claims below 300,000 for more than two years and unemployment rate at a 17-year low of 4.1 per cent, the US labour market is near full employment.

The US private sector added 250,000 jobs in December, signaling the strength in labor market and the whole economy, according to a separate report released by the ADP Research Institute.