Slightly more Americans apply for jobless benefits last week

Business

Hiring sign is displayed in Deerfield, Ill., Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022. Labor Department releases weekly report on unemployment benefits on Thursday, Nov. 10. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits rose slightly last week, but the labor market remains healthy despite job cuts that have begun to spread across industries most affected by soaring interest rates, such as housing and technology.

Unemployment claims for the week ending Nov. 5 rose by 7,000 to 225,000 from 218,000 the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average declined by 250 to 218,750.

Applications for jobless claims, which generally track layoffs, have remained historically low this year, even as the Federal Reserve has cranked up its benchmark borrowing rate six times in its effort to cool the economy and tame inflation.

A strong job market is deepening the challenges the Federal Reserve faces as it raises interest rates at the fastest pace since the 1980s to try to bring inflation down from near a 40-year high. Steady hiring, solid pay growth and low unemployment have been good for workers, but have contributed to rising prices.

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