The number of people filing applications for jobless benefits in the U.S. edged lower last week, a positive indicator for the U.S. labor sector amid recent sign that new claims could also be trending slightly higher.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits reduced 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended December 28, the Labor Division stated Thursday.
Economists surveyed had expected 225,000 new claims last week.
While claims have been unstable in recent weeks around the U.S. holiday season and end of the year, longer-term averages counsel the strength in claims data could have ebbed slightly in recent months.
In the newest week, the four-week moving average of initial claims increased by 4,750 to 233,250, the highest degree since January 2018.
Still, the underlying trend in claims stays in step with a labor market that is resisting indicators of weakness in other portions of the economy, equivalent to a retard in U.S. manufacturing and lackluster business funding.
U.S. stock futures had been little modified following the release of the jobless claims records, holding onto gains pushed earlier in the day by fresh economic motive from Beijing and optimism around easing trade spats.
Economists have attributed the weakness in U.S. manufacturing, and investment to ambiguity around a U.S.-China trade struggle started under U.S. President Donald Trump.
The plunge in claims in the newest week unwrapped a surge in new claims three weeks earlier that seemed to reflect a late Thanksgiving Day this year compared to 2018.