AP

Applications for US unemployment aid rose slightly last week

Dec 29, 2022, 6:49 AM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 12:53 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose only slightly last week with the labor market remaining strong despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to cool the economy and hiring.

Applications for unemployment aid for the week ending Dec. 24 climbed 9,000 to 225,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average of applications, which smooths out some of the week-to-week swings, slipped just 250 to 221,000.

Unemployment benefit applications are a proxy for layoffs, and are being closely monitored by economists as the Fed has rapidly raised interest rates in an effort to slow job growth and inflation. Should the Fed’s rate hikes cause a recession, as many economists fear, a jump in layoffs and unemployment claims would be an early sign.

So far, the level of jobless claims remains quite low, evidence that Americans are enjoying a high degree of job security. In the coming weeks, thousands of workers with temporary jobs during the winter holidays will lose work and apply for jobless aid. The government seeks to seasonally adjust the data to account for those job losses, but the adjustments are not always perfect and the layoff of temporary workers could distort the data.

The Fed is seeking to slow job growth and the pace of wage increases as part of its efforts to battle inflation. The central bank has hiked rates seven times this year, which has made it more expensive for consumers to take out mortgage and auto loans, and raised borrowing rates for credit cards.

So far, the interest rate increases have pushed mortgage rates above 6%, essentially double what they were before the Fed began tightening credit. Higher mortgage rates have hammered the housing market, with sales of existing homes falling for 10 straight months.

Yet so far there has been only a limited impact on hiring. Employers added 263,000 jobs in November, a healthy gain, and the unemployment rate stayed at a low 3.7%.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

An Apache group that has fought to protect land it considers sacred from a copper mining project in...

Associated Press

A US appeals court ruling could allow mine development in central Arizona on land sacred to Apaches

An Apache group that has fought to protect land from a copper mining project in central Arizona suffered a significant blow.

4 hours ago

On Friday, March 1, 2024, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said yogurt sold in the U.S. can ma...

Associated Press

Eating yogurt may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes, FDA says

Eating at least two cups of yogurt a week might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said.

6 hours ago

Arizona will not approve new housing construction on the fast-growing edges of metro Phoenix that r...

Associated Press

Arizona Senate passes plan to manage rural groundwater, but final success is uncertain

A plan to manage rural groundwater passed the Arizona Senate amid concerns about the availability of sufficient water for future generations.

2 days ago

A woman pauses while shopping at a Kohl's store in Clifton, N.J., Jan. 26, 2024. On Thursday, Feb. ...

Associated Press

Federal Reserve’s preferred inflation gauge picked up last month in sign of still-elevated prices

An inflation gauge favored by the Federal Reserve increased in January, the latest sign that the slowdown in U.S. consumer price increases is occurring unevenly from month to month.

3 days ago

This undated image provided by Mikel Desmond shows his brother Marcus Tessier, who turned up in Dem...

Associated Press

Missing teen with autism found in New Mexico, about 200 miles away from his Arizona home

A missing teen with autism has been found in New Mexico — about 200 miles away from his home in southern Arizona.

3 days ago

A newly released report on last year’s fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a group of bicycl...

Associated Press

Report suggests steering of vehicle that caused fatal Goodyear bicycle crash worked fine

A new report on last year’s fatal Goodyear bicycle crash has cast doubts about the driver’s claim the vehicle’s steering locked up.

4 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Applications for US unemployment aid rose slightly last week