KONTAN.CO.ID - WASHINGTON. The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week as demand for labor remained strong, helping to underpin the economy amid rising interest rates and tightening financial conditions.
The weekly unemployment claims report from the Labor Department on Thursday, the most timely data on the economy's health, also showed state jobless benefits rolls declining to their lowest level since 1969 in the second-half of May.
The Federal Reserve's aggressive monetary policy stance as it fights high inflation has fanned fears of a recession. While other data on Thursday showed private payrolls rose far less than expected in May, that was most likely because of worker shortages. There were over 11 million job openings at the end of April. The U.S. central bank is trying to dampen demand for labor, without pushing the unemployment rate too high.