Jobless claims in US edge up at start of year

Ben Southwood
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US NEW jobless claims edged higher in the first week of January, according to data out yesterday, but stayed below the figure for a year earlier.

Seasonally adjusted new unemployment insurance claims climbed by 4,000 to hit 371,000 in the week ending 5 January, the Department of Labor revealed.

However, overall the labour market looks to be in a better condition than at the same point last year. New claims for this week last year were 19,000 higher on the adjusted measure and 94,176 when left unadjusted. And seasonally adjusted total insured unemployment fell by 127,000 to hit 3,109,000, its lowest point since October 2008, and 495,000 below where it was a year earlier, though these figures are a week in arrears of the new claims numbers.

This came in tandem with upbeat data from the wholesale trade. Wholesalers’ sales volumes climbed 2.3 per cent between October and November, according to the US Census Bureau, hitting $419.3bn (£260bn). This meant wholesalers were enjoying sales 5.6 per cent higher compared to November last year.