U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Hold At Highest Level Since October 2021

A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits were unexpectedly flat in the week ended June 10th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims came in at 262,000, unchanged from the previous week’s revised level.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 249,000 from the 261,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Jobless claims unexpectedly held at their highest level since hitting 264,000 in the week ended October 30, 2021.

Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead US Economist at Oxford Economics, said the unchanged reading suggests “the increase in the prior week was evidence of some loosening in labor market conditions and not just a quirk due to seasonal adjustment factors around the Memorial Day holiday.”

“Labor market conditions will need to weaken further to keep the Fed from raising rates after holding steady at this week’s FOMC meeting,” she added.

Meanwhile, the report said the less volatile four-week moving average rose to 246,750, an increase of 9,250 from the previous week’s revised average.

With the increase, the four-week moving average reached its highest level since hitting 249,250 in the week ended November 20, 2021.

The Labor Department also said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, climbed by 20,000 to 1.775 million in the week ended June 3rd.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims still dipped to 1,778,250, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,784,250.

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