U.S. weekly jobless claims fall amid strong demand for workers – Reuters

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week as demand for labor remained strong, positioning the economy for another month of strong job gains.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 214,000 for the week ended March 12, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 220,000 applications for the past week.

Claims fell from a record high of 6.149 million in early April 2020. Russia’s three-week war on Ukraine poses a risk to the labor market due to disruptions in supply chains and rising labor costs. gasoline prices. But economists are optimistic that the labor market and the economy will weather the storm.

There were 11.3 million job vacancies at the end of January, with a record 1.8 vacancies per unemployed person. This mismatch between labor supply and demand stimulates wage growth, contributing to high inflation.

US consumer prices accelerated in February; weekly jobless claims increase

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its benchmark rate by 25 basis points, the first hike in more than three years, and outlined an aggressive plan to push borrowing costs to restrictive levels by 2023.

Fed Chairman Jerome Powell described the labor market as “extremely” tight, telling reporters that “we believe this labor market can withstand, as I mentioned, tighter monetary policy, and so can the global economy”.

Last week’s claims data covered the period the government surveyed business establishments for the non-farm payrolls component of the March jobs report. Claims dropped significantly between the February and March survey periods.

The economy added 678,000 jobs in February. Employment growth was helped by the return of some workers to the labor market amid a significant drop in COVID-19 infections.