Initial jobless claims increased by 10,000 to 255,000 last week, according to the Department of Labour.
Economists had forecast that first-time filings for unemployment insurance totaled 255,000, according to Bloomberg. The prior week’s print was revised up by 2,000 to 235,000.
This was the 97th straight week that claims did not top 300,000.
Economists point to the low levels of initial and continuing claims — not seen since the 1970s — as signs of steadiness in the jobs market.
“We continue to think that job creation will decelerate, as we said in 2016. In fact, looking at last year, the US economy averaged ‘only’ 180 new jobs per month, after averaging 230k per month in 2015,” said LPL Financial in a recent note.
“Many market participants have been sceptical that decelerating jobs growth could still foster a tightening labour force and rising wages. Well, with the December 2016 wage growth up 2.9% year over year, improving wages and other key measures of wages may finally heal the disconnect between the market and the Federal Reserve (Fed) on the labour market.”