Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
US Applications for Jobless Benefits Highest Since October 2021
gvw_ap_news
By Associated Press
Published 11 months ago on
June 8, 2023

Share

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week rose to its highest level since October 2021, but the labor market remains one of the healthiest parts of the U.S. economy.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that U.S. applications for jobless claims were 261,000 for the week ending June 3, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week’s 233,000. Weekly jobless claims are considered representative of U.S. layoffs.

The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the weekly variations, rose by 7,500 to 237,250.

Despite last week’s sharp increase in filings for unemployment aid, some analysts cautioned against concluding that layoffs are picking up across the economy. They noted that the weekly figures are prone to revision and that last week’s numbers might have been distorted by the three-day Memorial Day weekend.

“The latest reading reflects a holiday-shortened week (Memorial Day), which ought to raise suspicions that the big move was more noise than signal,” said Stephen Stanley, chief U.S. economist for Santander. “I am eager to see next week’s reading before I draw any conclusions.”

The U.S. economy has added jobs at a furious rate since the pandemic purge of more than 20 million jobs in the spring of 2020. Americans have enjoyed unusual job security, despite the Federal Reserve’s aggressive campaign to cool the economy and labor market in its bid to stifle persistent, decades-high inflation.

In early May, the Fed raised its benchmark lending rate for the 10th time in a row. There have been scattered signs that the Fed’s actions are working, but broadly, the job market continues to favor workers.

U.S. employers added a robust 339,000 jobs last month, well above expectations. Last week’s report painted a mostly encouraging picture of the job market but there were some mixed messages. Notably, the unemployment rate rose to 3.7%, from a five-decade low of 3.4% in April, the highest unemployment rate since October.

In April, employers posted 10.1 million job openings, up from 9.7 million in March and the most since January. Economists had expected vacancies to slip below 9.5 million.

Latest Numbers Could Sway Fed

Those reports, along with the jobless claims numbers, could help sway Fed officials one way or the other with regard to its next rate hike move. Most economists are predicting that the Fed will pause its rate hikes at its meeting next week, though the strong labor market could convince the central bank to stay the course with another small quarter-point increase.

The U.S. economy grew at a lackluster 1.3% annual rate from January through March as businesses wary of an economic slowdown trimmed their inventories. That’s a slight upgrade from its initial growth estimate of 1.1%.

Though the labor market remains strong, there have been notable high-profile layoffs recently, mostly in the technology sector, where many companies now acknowledge overhiring during the pandemic. IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, Twitter, Lyft, LinkedIn, Spotify and DoorDash have all announced layoffs in recent months. Amazon and Facebook parent Meta have each announced two sets of job cuts since November.

Outside the tech sector, McDonald’s, Morgan Stanley and 3M also recently announced layoffs.

Overall, 1.76 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended May 27, about 37,000 fewer than the previous week.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

DON'T MISS

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

DON'T MISS

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

DON'T MISS

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

DON'T MISS

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

DON'T MISS

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

DON'T MISS

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

DON'T MISS

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

DON'T MISS

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

DON'T MISS

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

UP NEXT

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

UP NEXT

California Court to Decide on Transgender Ballot Measure Wording

UP NEXT

Rare House Vote Sees Ukraine, Israel Aid Advance as Democrats Join Republicans

UP NEXT

Full Jury and 6 Alternates Seated in Trump’s Hush Money Trial

UP NEXT

Wired Wednesday: How High Will the Price of Gold & Silver Go?

UP NEXT

How 4/20 Grew From Humble Roots to Marijuana’s High Holiday

UP NEXT

Jury Selection Could Be Nearing a Close in Donald Trump’s Hush Money Trial in New York

UP NEXT

Who Owns Businesses in California? A Lawmaker Wants the Public to Know

UP NEXT

Did City Council Finally Give New NW Fresno Costco a Green Light?

UP NEXT

BTC Scammy Scams, Impact of Blockchain on Global Markets: Crypto The WonderDog Show

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

24 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

24 hours ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

1 day ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

2 days ago

Real Estate Experts Talk Fresno’s Economic Future. Are Tough Times Ahead?

2 days ago

Unlocking the Secrets to Fresno State’s Superb Baseball Season

2 days ago

‘This Is How to Improve Reading Proficiency. We Just Have To Execute It’: FUSD Board President

2 days ago

Does Dyer Support (or Endorse) Bredefeld for Supervisor?

2 days ago

Get a 3D First Look at Merced’s High-Speed Rail Station Design

2 days ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

Did you know that SNAP EBT benefits used to be called food stamps and that recipients can use those benefits to get healthy food in places o...

4 mins ago

4 mins ago

Surprising Ways and Places You Can Use SNAP EBT Food Benefits

4 mins ago

Californians Worry About Crime, Setting up a Ballot Measure Showdown

24 hours ago

The Pickle Flavor Frenzy and Its Rise in Food Trends

24 hours ago

Kate Hudson Had a Lifetime to Make a Record. The Result is ‘Glorious,’ Out in May

24 hours ago

Long-Lost First Model of USS Enterprise from ‘Star Trek’ Boldly Goes Home

1 day ago

California Leaders Take Sides in Monumental Supreme Court Case on Homelessness

1 day ago

Man Sets Himself on Fire Outside Trump Hush Money Trial Court

2 days ago

McDonald’s Ice Cream Machines Are So Unreliable They’re a Meme. They Might Also Be a Climate Solution.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend