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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

U.S. jobless decrease slightly

Applications for U.S. unemployment insurance fell, though remained near January levels, suggesting that labor market conditions are moderating.

Initial unemployment claims decreased by 2,000 to 231,000 in the week ended June 25, Labor Department data showed Thursday.

The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 230,000 applications.

Continuing claims for state benefits fell slightly to 1.33 million in the week ended June 18.

Jobless claims have been hovering in the 230,000 range for the past four weeks, a level not seen since the beginning of the year when the Omicron variant was at its peak.

Demand for labor is expected to weaken further as interest rates rise and firms anticipate a potential recession.

In the past week, companies including Netflix Inc. and Tesla Inc. have laid off hundreds of employees amid concerns about the economic outlook.

The jobless claims four-week moving average, a measure which smooths out some of the volatility in the series, has risen in 11 of the past 12 weeks, and stands at 231,750.

On an unadjusted basis, initial claims rose to 207,421 last week.

That reflected large increases in New Jersey and Massachusetts, while applications in Texas and Georgia declined.

A separate report Thursday showed U.S. inflation-adjusted consumer spending fell in May for the first time this year as persistent price pressures batter household budgets.

Samsung begins making new chip

Samsung Electronics kicked off mass production of 3-nanometer chips that are more powerful and efficient than predecessors, beating rival Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to a key milestone in the race to build the most advanced chips in the world.

South Korea’s largest company will begin with 3nm semiconductors for high-performance and specialized low-power computing applications before expanding to mobile processors, it said in a statement on Thursday.

By applying so-called Gate-All-Around transistor architecture, Samsung’s 3nm products reduce power consumption by up to 45% and improve performance by 23% compared to 5nm chips, it said.

Samsung shares were down about 1% in Seoul on Thursday, in line with the KOSPI benchmark.

Samsung’s push to be first to market with the latest technology is essential in its uphill climb to match TSMC, which remains dominant in the contract chipmaking, or foundry, market.

From wire reports

The Taiwanese firm accounts for more than half of the global foundry business by revenue and is the exclusive supplier of Apple Inc.’s Silicon processors for iPhones, iPads, MacBooks and desktop Mac PCs.

TSMC and Samsung are competing for large multiyear orders from the likes of Apple and Qualcomm Inc.

The chip’s mass production from the Taiwanese chipmaker will commence in the second half of the year, TSMC has said.

Samsung will produce 3nm chips at its Hwaseong facilities and is expected to extend that production to its newest Pyeongtaek fab.

“We will continue active innovation in competitive technology development and build processes that help expedite achieving maturity of technology,” said Siyoung Choi, president and head of Samsung’s foundry business.