New claims for unemployment benefits increased to the highest level since last January last week, according to a U.S. Labor Department report.
A total of 229,000 first-time filings were reported for the week ended June 4, representing an increase of 27,000 from the revised number in the prior period. Result is also too far from the 210,000 forecasted by Wall Street.
Labor market is under the spotlight amid companies holding new openings and anticipating a recession next year.
Overall demand for labor remains strong, with 11.4 million job openings at the end of April. Unemployment rolls remained at a more than 52-year low at the end of May.
According to the Labor Department’s report, the four-week moving average for continuing claims was unchanged at 1.306 million during the week ending May 28, sitting at levels last seen in January 1970.
The rise in claims comes less than a week after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payrolls increased by 390,000 in May, considerably better than expected.
The Federal Reserve officials are seeking to control demand for labor without raising the unemployment rate too high to defeat inflation. The central bank is expected to deliver another 50-basis points interest rate hike next Wednesday.