- U.S Unemployment Benefits Rise to Three Month High
The number of people filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a three-month high last week, when unemployment claims tend to be volatile.
Unemployment benefits rose by 11,000 to 261,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. The highest since September when claims were affected by hurricanes.
Continuing claims declined by 35,000 to 1.867 million in the week ended December 30, while the more stable four-week average claims rose to 250,750, up from the previous 241,750. This, either indicated the usual fluctuations in filings during the New Year’s holiday or validated the weaker than expected job data released in December when 148,000 jobs were created.
Despite the increase in filings, unemployment claims remain below the historical standard of 300,000 seen as a healthy labor market, and while experts believe that the economy may not produce 300,000 jobs a month with unemployment at a record-low of 4.1 percent, they seem to agree that job number above 100,000 will sustain current progress and keep three rates hike on the table this year.
Meanwhile, Producer Price Index declined last month by 0.1 percent, down from 0.4 percent gain recorded in November. Meaning, Federal Reserve’s two percent inflation target is still not within reach yet.
The U.S. dollar dropped 0.8 percent against the Euro to $1.2043, losing all its gains this week.