The numbers: Initial jobless benefit claims rose by 3,000 to 217,000 in the week ended October 22, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise 6,000 from last week’s initial estimate of 214,000.
The number of people applying for jobless benefits is one of the best barometers of whether the economy is getting better, or worse.
Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits rose by 55,000 to 1.44 million.
Big picture: While economists think the pace of the Federal Reserve’s recent interest rate hikes will eventually slow the economy and cause firms to lay off workers, so far labor market conditions remain tight.
What are they saying? “Filings remain low for now, signaling still-strong demand for labor,” Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist for High Frequency Economics, wrote in a note.
“Even as filings are not rising, we expect a gradual increase over coming months as demand slows in response to aggressive and ongoing Fed tightening,” she added.
Market reaction: U.S. stocks
were mixed before the market opened on Thursday while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note
rose to 4.04%.