U.S. jobless claims jump in latest week by biggest amount since last July

The numbers: Initial unemployment claims rose from 19,000 to 200,000 in the week ending April 30, the Labor Department said Thursday. This is the largest weekly increase in claims since last July and the highest level since mid-February.

Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had estimated that the new claims would only increase to 182,000.

Key details: The number of people already receiving unemployment benefits fell by 19,000 to 1.38 million in the week ending April 23. This is the lowest level since the early 1970s.

Large image: The gain echoes some of the softening of the labor market in April detected by the ADP National Employment Report. ADP data is a decline in hiring small businesses.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday described the labor market as “extremely tight.” During the first three months of the year, employment has increased by 1.7 million jobs this year, he noted. A strong labor market is one of the reasons the economy can handle tighter monetary policy, Powell said.

Market reaction: DJIA shares,

it was due to open lower on Thursday after meeting in the previous session on a view that the Fed was not as harsh as feared in its policy decisions.

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