Las weekly claims for unemployment benefits in the United States they rose in early May and reached their highest level since October 2021, suggesting that the labor market is starting to slow down after showing surprising strength in April.
In the first week of May, 264,000 people registered for unemployment after losing their jobs, 22,000 more than the previous week, according to data published Thursday by the Labor Department.
These numbers tend to show “an easing of labor market conditions,” Nancy Vanden Houten, an analyst at Oxford Economics, said in a note.
The economist foresees “that jobless claims will continue to rise as the economy weakens and experiences a mild recession in the second half, with an increase in layoffs.”
He also expects the rate of unemployment increase during the year and peak around 5.3% in the first quarter of 2024.
Jobless claims have remained exceptionally low for the past year and a half, below 300,000 a week, as the country faces a major labor shortage.
The US job market picked up unexpectedly in April, with 253,000 jobs created, up from 165,000 in March, and the unemployment rate falling to 3.4%, its lowest level since 1969.
However, the drop in job creation and the rise in the unemployment rate are expected to curb the strong inflationfueled, among other things, by strong wage growth linked to labor shortages.
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