The number of jobless claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose slightly last week, an indicator that the labor market remains on on solid ground, even if the economic growth has slowed marginally.
The output has decreased in the first quarter, mostly because of the strong dollar, harsh weather and weaker overseas growth.
The Federal Reserve acknowledged the slowing of growth, but still considers the jobs market is on a good course.
The report released by the Labor Department on Thursday shows that initial claims for state unemployment benefits has increased by 1,000 to the level of 291,000 for the week which ended on March 14. The increase was expected by the economist’s.
As a result of the announcement, the dollar increased its value against the yen and euro, while prices for U.S. Treasuries dipped. The four-week moving average of claims, which is better measure of labor market tendencies, rose 2,250 to 304,750 last week.
The monthly moving average of claims grew 21,750 between February and March, a trend that suggests a possible decrease in payroll growth.
There were 295,000 new jobs in the economy in February, with the jobless rate dropping to 5.5 percent. February is also the 12th consecutive month that employment have been adding above 200,000 jobs. This run hasn’t been achieved since 1994.
“There’s clear progress in the labor market,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics in Valhalla, New York.
The Federal Reserve explained that before tightening monetary policy it wants to observe “further improvement in the labor market”. Interest rate, which is kept near zero since December of 2008, could rise in June or September.
The report indicated that the number of people who are receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped by 11,000 to 2.42 million the week ending on March, 7.
In a different report, the Commerce Department announced the current account gap, which is a measurement for the flow of goods, investments and services that come into or go out of the country, said that the figure has increased to $113.5 billion. The level for the third quarter was of $98.9 billion. It is the largest shortfall since the second quarter of 2012.
The current account deficit for the fourth-quarter is equivalent 2.6 percent of gross domestic product, also the the highest 2002.
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