Jobless Claims Jumped More Than Expected Last Week

Jobless claims rose more than expected in the week that ended on Dec. 17, the Labor Department said in a report on Thursday.

Initial claims jumped by 21,000 to 275,000 last week, missing expectations for an increase to 256,000, the department said. The four-week moving average was 263,750, up by 6,000 from the prior week. While such a large increase was unexpected, the total was still below the 300,000 mark for the 94th straight week, the longest streak since 1970.

The increase in jobless claims comes a week after the Federal Reserve increased its base interest rate for the first time in a year. The Federal Open Market Committee increased the federal funds rate by 25 basis points to 0.5% to 0.75%, the first increase since December 2015 and only the second bump in a decade. The Fed cited the strong labor market as one reason for increasing the rate.

The biggest increases in initial claims for the week ended on Dec. 10 were in Illinois, where 2,787 more people filed for unemployment, Florida, which added 566 new claimants, and Colorado, where 485 more people filed claims, according to the department. Still, the number of people filing claims in New York fell by 13,110, the department said in Thursday’s report.

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