The situation on the US labor market has unexpectedly deteriorated significantly over the past week. The number of initial jobless claims rose by 17,000 to 240,000, the Department of Labor said in Washington on Wednesday. Analysts had expected just 225,000 applications, down from 223,000 the week before. Because of the "Thanksgiving" holiday on Thursday, the data was released a day earlier than usual.
The US Federal Reserve bases its monetary policy heavily on the development of the job market. It used the solid labor market as an argument against the economy slipping into a deep recession and tried to get the very high inflation under control by raising interest rates sharply. However, she recently announced a somewhat slower rate of tightening so as not to put too much strain on the economy.