U.S. weekly jobless claims hit new eight-month high amid economic slowdown

(Xinhua) 10:09, July 22, 2022

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Xinhua) -- Initial jobless claims in the United States last week rose to 251,000, hitting a fresh eight-month high and indicating the labor market might be cooling, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday.

In the week ending July 16, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 7,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 244,000, according to a report released by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The latest figure, which exceeded the 240,000 Dow Jones estimate, marks the highest level since mid-November.

The four-week moving average for initial jobless claims, a method to iron out data volatility, increased by 4,500 to 240,500, the report showed.

Jobless claims totaled 166,000 in the week ending March 19, the lowest in decades. The figures have been trending up since March amid surging inflation and rising interest rates.

The latest figure of 251,000 is well above the 2019 weekly average of 218,000, which is the pre-pandemic level. In the week ending March 14, 2020, jobless claims totaled 221,000, but in the following week, the figure skyrocketed to 2.9 million.

The latest report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits, which was reported with a one-week lag, increased by 51,000 to 1.38 million during the week ending July 2.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs -- state and federal combined -- for the week ending July 2, however, decreased by 47,842 to 1.35 million. 

(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Liang Jun)


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