The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week. The four-week average value of jobless claims, which is considered to be a better indicator of labor market trends, has fallen to a 44-year low, suggesting further tightening the labor market.
The submissions for unemployment benefits rose by 1,000 to seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ending May 20th, the Labor Ministry reported on Thursday. The increase comes after three consecutive weeks of decline.
The economists forecast that first-time claims will increase to 238,000 in the last week.
At the same time, applications are under 300,000 for the 116th week in a row, which is a threshold showing a healthy labor market close to full-time employment with a 10-year bottom unemployment rate of 4.4%.
Sustainable labor market data support the view that a sharp slowdown in economic growth in the first quarter is likely to be temporary. This may probably encourage the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.