And again we’re told: Don’t worry, Be Happy.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, but seasonal volatility makes it difficult to get a clear picture of the labor market’s health.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 371,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s figure was revised to show 5,000 fewer applications than previously reported.
Claims tend to be very volatile around this time of the year because of the holidays and seasonal layoffs. While they increased last week, there was nothing in the data to suggest a deterioration in labor market conditions.
The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, increased 6,750 to 365,750, still at a level consistent with steady job gains.
The hamsters are snoring peacefully in the mid-winter sunshine. All’s well with the world.