Initial claims for unemployment benefits in the US rose more than expected last week, though the trend remained low by historical standards with analysts not predicting any major increases in the coming weeks.
Seasonally adjusted initial claims came in at 227,000 in the week ended June 22, according to data published by the Department of Labor on Thursday. This was up 10,000 from a week earlier and more than the consensus of analysts polled by Econoday for 218,000.
The four-week moving average — which is often viewed as a more stable indicator of first-time applications for unemployment benefits — was 221,250, up 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate, meanwhile, was 1.2% for the week ending June 15, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
“Filings in Connecticut and Massachusetts more than doubled last week while claims in NJ also posted an unusually large rise,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont. “My guess is that these may be layoffs of education workers that took place as the school year ended. Most Northeast states are in dire fiscal straits, so belt-tightening is the order of the day, despite a robust national economy”.
High Frequency Chief US Economist Jim O’Sullivan said the implication is that May payrolls data exaggerated the extent to which employment growth is slowing.