The U.S. Department of Labor released unemployment claims data for the week ending July 16. Figures show that more Americans filed claims for unemployment benefits last week than what was forecasted by economists.
Jobless claims rose to 418,000, which is 10,000 more than the previous number of 408,000, and much more than the expected 410,000 claims.
The U.S. debt ceiling issue has made employers reluctant to hire more workers over the past two months on concern over stalled negotiations to extend the federal debt ceiling and reduce the budget deficit. Overall, the U.S economy’s recovery has been sluggish as a series of recent data has proven. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke last week said recent data showed “continuing weakness” in the labor market.
“The labor market is still quite fragile,” said Tom Porcelli , chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets Corp. in New York, who correctly forecast the rise in claims. “The pace of firings continues to move sideways and it’s obvious there is not a lot of hiring going on. There is not a lot of demand right now.”
Following the release of the data at 12:30GMT, the Dollar fell against the Yen from 78.79 to 78.52 within an hour.