Initial claims for unemployment climbed by 1,000 go 234,000 in the week ended May 20, the Labor Department announced today. The 234,000 total was below the 238,000 forecast from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. The foiur-week moving average of new claims, fell to 235,250 from 241,000 in the prior week. The average weekly initial claim over the last month is at the lowest level since 1973.
In discussing its reasoning on raising interest rates, the Federal Reserve has noted the strong U.S. jobs market and the potential that the labor market is tight enough so that it might soon start to push up wages as a faster rate and lead to a bump in U.S. inflation rates.
The CME Fed Watch tool puts the odds of a 25 basis point increase in interest rates at the Fed’s June 14 meeting at 87.7% today. That’s up from 83.1% on May 23 and from 73.8% on May 18. (The Fed Watch tool uses trading in the Fed Funds Futures to see what interest rate moves have been priced in by the market.)