U.S. jobless claims rise, reversing some of last week’s big drop

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The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose by 14,000 to 202,000 in the week ended March 26, the Labor Department said Thursday.

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Claims dropped by a revised 27,000 in the previous week to 188,000 – the lowest level since 1969. Economists said this was too sharp a decline to last.

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Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise to 195,000.

Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits fell by 35,000 to 1.31 million. These so-called continuing claims are now at their lowest level since December 1969.

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Big picture: Demand for labor is strong and firms are not laying off workers. With inflation high, the data are sending a clear signal for the Fed to continue to raise its benchmark policy rate. There is still a hope that more workers will return to the labor market, keeping wages from rising sharply.

Market reaction: US stocks DJIA,
-0.19%

SPX,
-0.63%
were expected to open mixed after widespread reports that the US was expected to release US reserves of oil into the market.

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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