Over the holidays, jobless claims in the United States spiked – exceeding the projections of various economists while reaching a high that hasn’t been seen since July of 2015.
Bloomberg Business noted that the increase may be reflective of “typical” holiday swings, as the last time the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was this high was during Independence Day. The Wall Street Journal proposed that the rise might be more indicative of data volatility during the holiday season than any real economic deterioration.
The U.S. Labor Department’s report, which was released on Thursday, shows that the number of Americans filing for benefits rose to about 287,000.
Economists surveyed by Reuters projected that the number of claims would rise to 270,000. Those polled by the WSJ reached the same conclusion. Both were off by 17,000.
The rise, an increase of 20,000 claims, marks the largest rise over the course of a single week since February of last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.
In an attempt to explain the spike, the WSJ reported that the data pertaining to the number of claims could be the result of the high week to week volatility exhibited during the holidays, as the latest numbers accounted for the Christmas holiday.
Despite the latest numbers, CNBC noted in a recent report that jobless claims in the U.S. have been at a 42-year low in recent months.
In July of 2015, the Department of Labor hailed the creation of 215,000 new jobs while noting that the average weekly work hours had risen.
What do you think, is the job market losing momentum or are the latest numbers merely the result of temporary factors related to the holiday season?