Initial jobless claims up slightly, but layoffs remain near a 50-year low


US initial jobless claims rose slightly in the week ended Jan. 18, according to seasonally adjusted data released today by the US Department of Labor.

Total initial jobless claims for the week rose to 211,000, up 6,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up by 1,000.

The four-week moving average of jobless claims — which smooths results — fell by 3,250 to a total of 224,000 from the previous week’s average, which was revised up by 250.

Layoffs remain near a 50-year low, MarketWatch reported. The US economy is growing more slowly, but it hasn’t stopped consumers from spending. As a result, companies face little pressure to slash payrolls with sales still growing and skilled labor in such short supply.