US jobless claims rise by 7,000
Americans filed unemployment claims at an accelerated clip in the week ended 25 November, according to the Labor Department.
Initial jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 218,000 last week, up from a revised figure of 211,000 for the previous week but short of market expectations for a print of 220,000.
Continuing claims, on the other hand, surged by 86,000 to 1.92m, marking the highest level since November 2021, while the four-week moving average, which aims to strip out week-to-week volatility, fell by 500 to 220,000.
Non-seasonally adjusted claims dropped by 42,136 to 198,843, driven by declines in California, Texas, Oregon, Florida and Georgia.
Oxford Economics' Nancy Vanden Houten said: "Initial jobless claims bounced back in the week ended November 25 as seasonal noise continues to make the claims data more volatile and difficult to interpret. Continued claims, meanwhile, jumped to their highest level in two years, an increase that was likely overstated by seasonal factors. Despite the seasonal noise, initial claims remain at a level that is consistent with relatively low layoffs, while the continued claims data suggest that some unemployed individuals may be finding it more difficult to find new jobs.
"We think the claims data are consistent with a job market that is cooling enough to keep any further rate hikes off the table, but still too strong to make rate cuts a consideration any time soon. Additional moderation in wage growth will be needed to bring inflation back to 2%, and that progress is likely to occur slowly. Our baseline forecast is for core PCE inflation to average 2.5% y/y in Q3 of 2024, which we expect will be sufficient for the Fed to begin cutting rates by September."
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com