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Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Unemployment aid requests slightly increased in US

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The number of Americans applying for jobless aid rose slightly last week, but the job market remains healthy despite job cuts that have begun to spread across industries worst hit by rising interest rates, such as housing and technology.

The Labor Department said Thursday that jobless benefits claims rose to 225,000 in the week ending November 5 from 7,000 the previous week. The four-week average fell by 250 to 218,750.

Aid applications, which typically reflect layoffs, have been historically low this year, even as the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate six times in its efforts to calm the economy and rein in inflation. has given.

Labor market forces deepen the challenges facing the central bank as it raises rates to bring inflation down from its highest level in nearly four years at the fastest pace since the 1980s. Consistent hiring, solid wage growth and low unemployment have been good for workers, but have contributed to rising inflation.

The government reported on Thursday that consumer inflation hit 7.7% in October from a year earlier, the smallest annual gain since January.

Excluding volatile food and fuel prices, core inflation has risen 6.3% over the past 12 months and 0.3% since October.

Those numbers are still higher, but they were lower than economists expected, giving little hope that the Fed would ease rate hikes in the future.

Last week, the bank raised its short-term rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, three times the normal spread, for the fourth time this year. Its benchmark rate is now in the range of 3.75% to 4%, the highest in 15 years.

Fed officials have acknowledged that part of the strategy is to loosen the labor market in the United States, which has been adding jobs rapidly over the past two years as the coronavirus pandemic wiped out more than 20 million jobs.

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