US jobless claims rise unexpectedly

Initial jobless claims increased by 16,000 to 351,000 in seasonally adjusted data for the week ended September 18

Jobless claims fell from a record 6,149 million in early April 2020, but still remain above the 200,000 to 250,000 range considered to be consistent with healthy labor market conditions.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve took a positive tone on the economy, paving the way to reduce its monthly bond purchases “soon” and signaling that interest rate hikes could follow more quickly than expected.

Last week’s aid applications data covered the period the government polled employers for the September job creation report.

Job creation decelerated in August, recording the lowest level in seven months. The Fed has projected the unemployment rate at 4.8% this year, against 4.5% forecast by the central bank in June. In August, the rate was at 5.2%.

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