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New applications for unemployment benefits in USA rose to a more than two-month high last week, but remained at a level consistent with tightening market conditions. working market and higher wage advances that could keep inflation high for a while.

The report of work Department Thursday also showed the number of Americans collecting state unemployment checks was the lowest in more than 52 years as of the end of April.

Economists said last week’s rise in initial claims was likely due to difficulties adjusting the data for seasonal fluctuations around moving holidays such as Holy WeekPassover and the spring school holidays.

Initial claims for state benefits for unemployment they rose by 19,000 to 200,000 seasonally adjusted for the week ending April 30, the highest level since mid-February. Economists consulted by Reuters estimated 182,000 for the last week.

The 200,000 applications are seen as consistent with strong demand for workers. The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid fell by 19,000 to 1.384 million for the week to April 23. It was the lowest level for so-called continuing orders since January 1970.

Government data this week showed there were a record 11.5 million job openings on the last day of March, widening the gap between jobs and workers to a record 3.4% of the labor force from 3.1% in February. The imbalance of working market is forcing employers to raise wages, which is contributing to rising wages inflation.

Compensation for American workers posted its biggest increase in more than three decades in the first quarter, according to government data last week.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday raised its official interest rate by half a percentage point, the biggest increase in 22 years, and said it would start cutting its bond holdings in June as it battles accelerating inflation.

Applications, which have fallen from an all-time high of 6.137 million in early April 2020, will be closely watched for signs of whether rising borrowing costs are dampening demand.

Layoffs increase

The government is expected to report on Friday that nonfarm payrolls rose by 391,000 in April after rising 431,000 in March, according to a Reuters survey of economists. Job growth has exceeded 400,000 for 11 months in a row.

However, there are signs that high labor costs are beginning to hurt small businesses, especially those in the leisure and hospitality sectors.

A separate report from global relocation firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed Thursday that job cuts announced by companies based in USA they grew 14% to 24,286 in April.

The second consecutive monthly increase in layoffs was led by the leisure and hospitality industry. The rise in layoffs coincided with ADP’s National Employment report on Wednesday, which showed the smallest increase in private payrolls in two years in April due to falling employment at companies with fewer than 50 workers.

The increase in labor costs was reinforced by a third report from the work Department which showed worker productivity plummeted at its fastest pace in more than 74 years in the first quarter.

Nonfarm productivity, which measures hourly output per worker, sank at a 7.5% annualized rate last quarter, the deepest since the third quarter of 1947. That followed a 6.3% growth pace in the fourth. trimester.


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