FXStreet (Mumbai) - The number of Americans filing for jobless claims rose to a five-month for the week ended December 5. The Labor Department today reported initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000 for the week ended Dec. 5. The claims are the highest since early July. It should not however be interpreted as the weakening of the labor market. The underlying trend is believed to have remained in tune with tightening conditions. The four-week moving average of claims is considered a better measure of labor market trends because it removes the week-to-week volatility. The four week average claims rose only 1,500 to 270,750 last week. Claims have remained below the 300,000 threshold for 40 straight weeks, signifying satisfactory labor market conditions. This is the longest period for which claims have remained within this band since the early 1970s. There will remain little room for further declines as the labor market approaches full employment. The number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased to 2.24 million in the week ended November 28. The four-week moving average of the continuing claims increased 16,500 to 2.18 million. The U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate stayed at a 7-1/2-year low of 5 per cent. The labor market has shown resilience in the face of slowing consumer spending and housing market activity. With the labor market looking up posting strong figures, the Fed rate hike in December now seems almost certain. The Federal Reserve will meet on December 15-16 when it is expected to raise rates from its record low levels for the first time in almost a decade. For more information, read our latest forex news.