Application for jobless claims increased slightly and reached the level of 225,000 for the week ending on December 24, 2022. However, the unemployment claims remained close to its historic low.

Jobless claims remain close to historic low

The U.S. Labor Department data showed that the initial unemployment claims rose by 9,000 compared to previous week. The application for unemployment benefits reached 225,000 for the which ended on 24th December, 2022. Importantly, the number is in line with the estimates of Bloomberg survey of economists. Weekly jobless claims are still close to the pre-pandemic levels for the last few months. Previously, the median weekly jobless claims stood at 218,000 in 2019. However, it will be very tough to seasonally adjust the data amid the holiday season. Jobless claims are often volatile around the holidays and are prone to revisions.

1.7 million unemployment claims

Furthermore, the increase in the number of people who have filed the initial application and claiming unemployment benefits is very alarming. Significantly, overall jobless claims rose to 1.7 million during the week which ended on December 17, 2022. Hence, it is suggesting that this upward trend in jobless claims is making it difficult for unemployed people to find new jobs. Moreover, this is the highest level of unemployment claims since February this year.

Fed’s efforts and resilient job market

On the other hand, the Federal Reserve’s is making aggressive efforts to reduce demand. They have repeatedly raised interest rates this year in an effort to tame elevated inflation. However, the rising number of jobless claims is undermining the Fed’s efforts. Moreover, it has also impacted the jobs market which remained highly resilient during 2022. Importantly, the U.S. job market has managed to portray positive job growth numbers month on month during the whole last year. Although sectors like banking and tech have laid off workers in recent months. Yet, there are few sectors which are still finding it tough to fill open vacancies. Leisure & hospitality led the way in this regard.

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