Washington, Aug 24 (EFE).- New claims for unemployment benefits in the United States rose by 2,000 for the week ended Aug. 19 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Initial claims remained near a four-decade low and have been under 300,000 for 129 consecutive weeks. Economists say any reading below that level is indicative of a healthy labor market.
The rolling four-week average of claims, a more reliable indicator of trends in the labor market, decreased last week by 2,750 to 237,750, the lowest level since February, the report said.
The number of claims drawn by people for one week or more – known as continuing claims – remained unchanged at 1,950,000 for the week ended Aug. 12 and remained below the 2 million threshold for the 19th consecutive week.
The job market has remained strong during the first six months of US President Donald Trump’s administration while the headline unemployment rate ticked down to 4.3 percent in July, its lowest level in 16 years.
The Federal Reserve has responded to the improving US economy by starting to raise its benchmark interest rate, the federal-funds rate.
After two rate hikes this year, the current target rate is at a range of between 1 percent and 1.25 percent.