The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits has risen unexpectedly, according to the Labor Department. Initial jobless claims rose by 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 211,000 last week, which was the highest level in 10 weeks. This figure surpassed analysts’ expectations of 195,000 and marked the first time in eight weeks that the number of applications for unemployment benefits has risen above 200,000.
Additionally, the US Department of Labor reported that the number of Americans still claiming unemployment benefits rose by 69,000 to 1.718 million, the highest level in 14 months. The labor market’s struggles have been particularly harsh on technology companies, with many announcing layoffs. Real estate firms have also been affected by declining sales, which can be attributed to the rising mortgage interest rates.
The Federal Reserve (Fed) has signaled further policy rate hikes to curb inflation, which could worsen the job market’s struggles. As businesses face higher borrowing costs, they may be less likely to invest in expanding their operations or hiring new employees. This could further exacerbate the challenges faced by workers seeking employment.