U.S. Jobless Claims Climb To Highest Level Since October 2021
First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased by much more than expected in the week ended June 3rd, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 261,000, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 233,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 235,000 from the 232,000 originally reported for the previous week.
With the much bigger than expected advance, jobless claims reached their highest level since hitting 264,000 in the week ended October 30, 2021.
“Initial jobless claims jumped to their highest level since October 2021 but it’s likely more noise than signal,” said Matthew Martin, U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
“Initial claims can be volatile around holidays and the new data include Memorial Day,” he added. “Therefore, the increase in new filings don’t warrant any change to the baseline forecast.”
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also rose to 237,250, an increase of 7,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 229,750.
Meanwhile, the report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 37,000 to 1.757 million in the week ended May 27th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dipped to 1,784,750, a decrease of 12,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,797,250.
Last Friday, the Labor Department released its closely watched monthly jobs report, showing U.S. employment surged by much more than expected in the month of May.
The report showed non-farm employment soared by 339,000 jobs in May after spiking by an upwardly revised 294,000 jobs in April.
Economists had expected employment to climb by 190,000 jobs compared to the jump of 253,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate rose to 3.7 percent in May from 3.4 percent in April. The unemployment rate was expected to inch up to 3.5 percent.
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