US initial jobless claims rise to highest level in a month

After hitting pandemic lows, initial unemployment claims in the US unexpectedly rose to 412,000 last week, marking the highest level in a month, the Labour Department reported.

In the week ending June 12, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 37,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level of 375,000, according to a report released on Thursday by the Department’s Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, decreased by 8,000 to 395,000.

The latest report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending June 5 increased by 1,000 to reach 3.5 million.

That number peaked in April and May last year, when it was over 20 million.

Meanwhile, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs, state and federal combined, for the week ending May 29 decreased by 559,873 to reach 14.8 million, as the country continues to grapple with the fallout of the pandemic.

The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday kept its benchmark interest rates unchanged at the record-low level of near zero, reiterating that the surge in inflation is “transitory” and resisting sending out signals on the timeline to taper its bond-buying program.