Jobless Claims Rise Last Week, Is This Bad News For Markets?

 The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, indicating that labor market growth is beginning to slow.

Initial claims for state jobless benefits rose 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 for the week ended July 30, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 259,000 applications for the latest week.

The jobless claims reading topped 230,000 in early June, hitting an eight-month high of 261,000 in mid-July. Still, it remains below the 270,000-300,000 range that economists say would signal a significant slowdown in the labor market.

The number of people receiving aid rose by 48,000 to 1.416 million in the week ending July 23. The economy contracted 1.3% in the first half, meeting the standard definition of a recession. On the other hand, sharp changes in inventories and trade deficits linked to severe global supply chains have been the main cause of two consecutive quarters of decline in gross domestic product.

There were 10.7 million job openings at the end of June, with 1.8 vacancies for every unemployed worker. For now, layoffs remain very low. A separate report from global placement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas on Thursday showed job cuts announced by U.S.-based companies. down 20.6% to 25,810 in July.

The Fed last week raised its policy rate by another three-quarters of a percentage point. U.S. central bank has now raised that rate by 225 basis points since March.

The claims data has no bearing on the July jobs report, which is scheduled to be released on Friday. Based on the survey, the NFP reading is expected to have increased by 250,000 jobs last month after increasing by 372,000 in June.

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