U.S. Unemployment Rate Rises Despite Job Growth and Low Layoffs
U.S. unemployment rate rose to 3.6% in February, according to data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report indicated that the country added 311,000 jobs in February, far more than the 225,000 expected. Despite this, the number of unemployed people increased to 5.9 million.
Initial jobless claims, a measure of layoffs, rose to 211,000 last week from 190,000 the week before, according to the U.S. Labor Department. This figure surpassed all economists’ forecasts, which had expected only a small uptick to 195,000. Continuing claims, which include people who have received unemployment benefits for a week or more, rose by the most since November 2021 and totaled 1.72 million.
The four-week moving average was 197,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 193,000. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2%, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate.
This week, Jerome Powell, the chair of the Federal Reserve, testified before Congress that, should the economic data remain positive, the central bank might raise interest rates at a faster rate, though no decision has been made concerning their next policy meeting.
Despite the uptick in unemployment, layoffs remain low in most of the U.S. WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez commented that “the latest economic data have come in stronger than expected, which suggests that the ultimate level of interest rates is likely to be higher than previously anticipated.
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