US weekly unemployment claims decline, but the labour market is still tight.

Unemployment rates are hovering near a five-month high . There have been reports of layoffs in the technology and housing sectors .

WASHINGTON (Washington) — As labor market conditions remain tight, the number of Americans applying for unemployment insurance declined last week, although a slowdown is emerging.Despite the Labor Department's weekly decline for the second week in a row on Thursday, unemployment rates are hovering near a five-month high.There have been reports of layoffs in the technology and housing sectors, despite fears of a slowdown as the Federal Reserve tightens its quantitative policy to combat inflation.The best days of work are behind us, according to Christopher Rupkey, chief economist at FWDBONDS in New York.

For the week ended June 18, initial claims for state unemployment insurance dropped 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 229,000.For the latest week, economists polled by Reuters predicted 227,000 applications.Claims have been treading water since they hit a 53-year low in March, reaching more than 166,000.Although acknowledging that the labour market has been dragging at a halt, some economists also blamed the stagnant claims on stingy seasonal causes, the government's method of stripping out seasonal variations from the results around this time of the year.

In recent weeks, filings for the seasonal adjustment have been very low, according to Daniel Silver, an economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Last week, unadjusted claims fell 3,255 to 202,844.Illinois and Florida reported substantial drops in claims, which contributed to a notable increase in Michigan.The overall labour market is still tense.At the end of April, there were 11.4 million job openings, with nearly two for every unemployed individual.

US stocks started the day higher in the United States.The dollar soared against a basket of currencies.The value of US Treasury bills soared.Growth is slowing.

Last week, the US central bank increased its interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point, the highest increase since 1994.Since March, the Federal Reserve has raised its overnight interest rate by 150 basis points.The drive by the government to dampen demand in the job market and global economy is fueling fears of a slowdown next year.Fed Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Wednesday that the central bank was not trying to engineer a slowdown to halt inflation but was committed to keeping prices under control, even if doing so resulted in an economic recession.

Last week's estimates list covered the time when the government investigated businesses for the nonfarm payrolls component of June's work report.Claims rose moderately between the May and June survey periods.In May, the economy saw 390,000 jobs gain.The number of people receiving health care increased 5,000 to 1.315 million during the week ending June 11, according to the claims study.