Claims for unemployment benefits made a small jump from last week, but still came in under 300,000, indicating a continuing strong jobs market even though economic growth has slowed.
The Labor Department report shows about 1,000 new claims for the week, adding up to a seasonally adjusted average of 291,000. That number is slightly higher than MarketWatch and Reuters economists’ forecast of 290,000.
The less-volatile four-week rolling average jumped 2,250 to 304,750. Year-over-year the average is down 7.5%, and some economists think that could signal a slowing in the market.
The Fed just said U.S. unemployment can go even lower http://t.co/oLf4Gx8Ogg— Bloomberg Business (@business) March 18, 2015
February saw an addition of 295,000 jobs and a dip in the unemployment rate to 5.5%. It marks 12 straight months of gains above 200,000, the longest run since 1994, according to Reuters.
The jump in claims in late February appears to have been due to weather effects, not a change in the trend," said Jim O'Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.
The report also shows those still receiving unemployment checks after the first week, dropped by 11,000 to 2.42 million.
Wednesday, Fed chair Janet Yellen announced there would be no raise in the interest rate, because despite the continuing jobs market improvement, there’s room for more growth. One of those areas is wages. While unemployment is down, pay rates have remained stagnant.
Follow this link for the complete unemployment claims report from the Labor Department.