U.S. jobless claims rose for the first time in three weeks, to 214,000 in the week ended Dec. 15. However, that number is still close to a tight labor market. The four-week average (usually a less volatile gauge) fell to 222,000.
As indicated by the latest figures from the Labor Department, the demand for labor still remains strong in the U.S., despite recently emerging concerns about a possible slowing down of economic growth. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 1.2 percent.
However, some analysts maintain a cautious outlook suggesting that the holiday season boost in hiring could only be seasonal and therefore might not be fully indicative of the underlying trend in hiring or unemployment claims.