Claims for jobless aid in the United States increased slightly last week

Washington, United States.- The number of people in the United States that they asked for help due to unemployment increase slightly the last weekat a time when the Federal Reserve tries to cool down the economy and curb inflation.

Jobless claims for the week ending September 17 rose by 5,000, to 213,000the Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week’s figure was reduced for 5,000, to 208,000the lowest since May.

The requests generally reflect layoffs. The four-week average, which compensates for weekly volatility, fell by 6,000 to 216,750.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark short-term rate by another three-quarters of a point, in an effort to reduce a persistent inflation which is at its highest levels in decades.

Although prices Prices of gasoline have been falling since the summer, prices of food and other essential supplies remain high enough that the Fed has indicated it will continue going up the rate until they return to normal levels.

Fed officials have pointed to the impressive resilience of labor markets in the country as justification to raise the rate five times this year, including three consecutive three-quarter-point hikes.

The central bank’s move on Wednesday raised its short-term rate, which affects loans to consumers and businesses, to between 3% and 3.25%, the highest level since early 2008. Officials forecast it will raise the rate referring to around 4.4% for the end of the year, one point more than what they forecast in June.

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Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said that before bank officials consider reining in hikes, they want to feel confident that inflation is pulling back to its 2% target.