US unemployment assistance programs increased just last week

Unemployment benefit packages are an indicator of layoffs and are being closely watched by economists as the Federal Reserve 

 If the Fed's rate hikes point to a recession, as many economists fear,

So far, the number of jobless claims remains quite low, showing that people are participating in an excessive degree of job security

In the coming weeks, many employees with temporary jobs during the winter weather holidays will lose their job and seek unemployment assistance

The government seeks to seasonally alter the data to account for job losses, but the changes are not always perfect.

The Fed is looking for a slow boom in activity and the pace of wages will rise as part of its efforts to fight inflation

The central bank has raised prices seven times this year, making it more expensive for buyers to get home and car loans

To date, increases in interest prices have pushed mortgage prices above 6%, nearly double

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