Jobless Claims Show Tight U.S. Labor Market Even With Increase

Updated on

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The slight gain in filings for U.S. unemployment benefits last week is still consistent with a resilient job market, Labor Department figures showed Thursday.

Highlights of Jobless Claims (Week ended June 17)

  • Initial jobless claims increased by 3k to 241k (forecast was 240k); 43-year-low of 227k was reached in February
  • Continuing claims rose by 8k to 1.94m in week ended June 10 (data reported with one-week lag)
  • Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than weekly figure, rose to 244,750 from 243,250 in prior week

Key Takeaways

Employers are reluctant to let go of skilled and experienced workers at a time there’s a shortage of such labor. Even with the tick-up in filings, the figures are in sync with other data showing steady hiring, still-elevated job openings, and unemployment at a 16-year low. The report spans the week including the 12th of the month, the period covered by the Labor Department’s survey for the monthly jobs report. Economists typically incorporate that week’s jobless-claims numbers into their forecasts for payrolls.

Other Details

  • Prior week’s reading was revised to 238,000 from 237,000
  • Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits unchanged at 1.4 percent
  • Louisiana was the only state with estimated claims last week
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