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    US Labor Market Resilient Despite Economic Uncertainty


    The US labor market remains resilient despite mounting economic uncertainty as initial jobless claims rose for the first time in six weeks but remained historically low.

    On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims rose by 13,000 week-on-week to 196,000, up from the prior week's nine-month low of 183,000 and above economists expectations for a reading of 190,000.[0] In the week ending January 28, the amount of individuals receiving unemployment benefits increased by 38,000, bringing the total to 1.69 million.[1] The four-week rolling average of all individuals who filed for unemployment benefits over the same period rose by 14,500, bringing the total to 1,664,750.[2]

    Despite the Federal Reserve's most aggressive tightening campaign in a generation, the US labor market has continued to stay strong. Layoffs, which have spread beyond tech companies, have been increasing, yet many businesses, particularly smaller ones, are still having difficulty finding employees, while others are managing to retain the staff they worked hard to acquire.[1] In December, the Labor Department's monthly survey showed job openings increasing to more than 11 million, and the January labor market report revealed that the labor market was stronger than anticipated at the end of 2020. Additionally, the Labor Department raised its estimate of total nonfarm employment by over half a million.[3] The four-week moving average of initial claims dropped to 189,250, the lowest it has been since late April, after factoring out some of the weekly fluctuations.[1]

    In his State of the Union speech on Tuesday, President Joe Biden noted that the US economy has gained more than 12 million jobs since he took office one year into the pandemic.[4] January's jobs report revealed an impressive 517,000 new jobs created, with growth seen in many different industries.[4]

    On Tuesday, Jerome Powell, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, promised to keep raising interest rates as long as it takes in order to control unprecedented inflation.[4] Despite the central bank's attempts to decrease business investment and halt some aspects of the housing market, the United States' booming jobs market remains intact.[4]

    Oxford Economics' US economist, Matthew Martin, commented that the minimal number of job claims is indicative of a competitive labor market, and individuals are having no difficulty finding employment.[5]

    0. “U.S. Jobless Claims Climbed Last Week but Remain Historically Low” The Wall Street Journal, 9 Feb. 2023,

    1. “US Jobless Claims Pick Up for the First Time in Six Weeks” Yahoo News, 9 Feb. 2023,

    2. “Initial unemployment filings climb to 196,000” UPI News, 9 Feb. 2023,

    3. “U.S. initial jobless claims rise to four-week high as layoffs build” Yahoo Entertainment, 9 Feb. 2023,

    4. “Weekly jobless claims edged up last week, but the labor market remains robust” WRAL News, 9 Feb. 2023,

    5. “US initial jobless claims rise by 13,000” ShareCast, 9 Feb. 2023,–12272740.html

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