Jobless Claims Rise to Nearly 4 Month High

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits climbed by 11K to kick off the first week of 2018. The 261K jobless claims is a high not seen in nearly four months, and claims have risen now four weeks in a row.

Economists point to the “Bomb Cyclone” that blasted much of nation with frigid temperatures triggering a number of workers to stay indoors. Moreover, employment data can be particularly volatile around the holidays as seasonal workers drop off the payroll.

2018 is far from doom and gloom however. The week ending January 6th marked the 149th straight week where claims remained below the 300K benchmark that is associated with a strong labor market. The current unemployment rate is 4.1%, a low not seen since 2000. Economists predict hiring to stall somewhat throughout the year as the pool of qualified workers continues to shrink making it more difficult for organizations to fill vacancies.

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