The most recent report by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that weekly unemployment insurance claims have been on the rise across the nation. The number of jobless claims reached 239,000 last week, which is the highest mark since January 2022.
The jobless claims have increased by 11,000 compared to last week’s 228,000. Also, the four-week moving average is at its highest since November 2021, coming at 240,000 after a jump of 2,250 claims.
While the latest numbers indicate that the job market might finally be slowing down, the unemployment insurance weekly claims remain at historically low levels. Most experts predict that Federal Reserve wants to see the mark of 270,000 jobless claims in order to consider its strategy of aggressive interest rate hikes successful.
The Fed has increased its interest rates nine times in the past year, with another one expected in May. However, the job market is still going strong, with the unemployment rate coming at 3.5% in March, which is just below the 53-year low of 3.4% from early 2023. Also, U.S. employers have added another 236,000 jobs, signaling that the economy still remains hot.
In its most recent projection report, the Fed revealed that it expects a 4.5% unemployment rate by the end of the year.