The Labor Department has released data revealing that initial jobless claims in the United States unexpectedly increased by 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 261,000 last week. This marks the highest level recorded since October 2021 and exceeds analysts’ forecast of 235,000.
To gain a more accurate assessment of the labor market, experts often refer to the four-week average of initial jobless claims, as it smoothens out weekly fluctuations. This figure, which provides a better gauge of the overall labor market conditions, rose by 7,500 to 237,250.
Concurrently, the US Department of Labor reported a decrease in the number of Americans actively claiming unemployment benefits. This figure dropped by 37,000 to 1.76 million, indicating a decline in ongoing unemployment.
The unexpected rise in initial jobless claims suggests potential challenges within the US labor market. Economists and analysts will closely monitor the situation in the coming weeks to assess the underlying causes and potential implications for the broader economy.