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Weekly Jobless Claims Unchanged; Remain at Low Level

The number of initial claims for unemployment insurance filed during the week ended Saturday (April 13) was unchanged from the previous week’s revised figure of 212,000.

The previous week’s figure was revised up by 1,000, the Department of Labor (DOL) said in a Thursday (April 18) press release.

The four-week moving average of 214,500 was unchanged from the previous week’s revised average, which was revised up by 250, according to the release.

The number of weekly jobless claims was lower than the 215,000 forecast by economists, Reuters reported Thursday (April 18). 

The figure remained at a low level, signaling continued strength in the labor market, according to the report. The weekly claims this year have ranged from 194,000 to 225,000.

The resilience of the labor market, together with high inflation, has led some observers to expect that the Federal Reserve could delay cutting interest rates until September — or even into 2025, the report said.

The DOL’s report comes about a week after the University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers found that consumer sentiment remained essentially unchanged and “remarkably steady” in April.

Consumers’ expectations in terms of personal finances, business conditions and labor markets have remained stable since the beginning of the year, according to the survey.

“Sentiment moved sideways for the fourth straight month, as consumers perceived few meaningful developments in the economy,” Surveys of Consumers Director Joanne Hsu said in a statement when announcing the results.

The DOL also reported Thursday that the insured unemployment rate was 1.2% for the week ended April 6, unchanged from the previous week’s rate, which was unrevised. 

The insured unemployment number for that week was 1,812,000, which was 2,000 higher than the previous week’s revised figure. The figure for the previous week was revised down by 7,000 to 1,810,000, according to the release.

In comments supplied to the DOL, the state with the greatest increase in the number of initial claims filed during the week ended April 6, New Jersey, attributed the change to “layoffs in accommodation and food services, in transportation and warehousing, and in public administration industries.”

The state with the greatest decrease, Iowa, attributed that change to “fewer layoffs in manufacturing industry.”