May 23, 2017

New Jobless Claims Rise Unexpectedly

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 385,000, the highest level since November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists, who had expected claims to drop to 350,000, said while part of the rise reflected difficulties adjusting the data during the Easter and spring breaks, there was no doubt the pace of job growth had eased.

“What we do know is that the growth momentum has slowed, employment has slowed. The question is how much,” said Millan Mulraine, a senior economist at TD Securities.

That question will be answered on Friday when the government releases its employment report for March.

According to a Reuters survey of economists, the Labor Department is expected to report that employers added 200,000 jobs to their payrolls last month after hiring 236,000 workers in February. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at a four-year low of 7.7 percent.

But the risks for a weaker reading are high after a report from the payroll processor ADP on Wednesday showed that private employers added the fewest jobs in five months in March.

Goldman Sachs expects the economy to have created 175,000 jobs last month, noting that the tone of labor market indicators softened in March, especially in light of the so-called government sequester, which is cutting $85 billion in spending.

“The sequester is likely to slow March payroll growth, and payrolls have outpaced broader measures of labor market improvement over the last few months,” said Sven Jari Stehn, an economist at Goldman Sachs.

Last week, the four-week moving average for new claims, considered by some economists to be a better measure of labor market trends, rose 11,250, to 354,250.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/business/economy/claims-for-us-jobless-benefits-rise.html?partner=rss&emc=rss