Jobless claims soar to 2-month highs as the unemployment recovery reverses course
Jobless claimsrose to 286,000 last week, hitting the highest level since mid-October.
- The jump signals a reversal of the unemployment-filings recovery seen over the last few months.
It turns out the jobless-claims recovery isn't as smooth as the last several weeks suggested.
Filings for unemployment insurance rebounded to 286,000 last week, the Labor Department announced Thursday. That landed above the median estimate of 250,000 claims from economists surveyed by Bloomberg. It also marks a sharp uptick from the prior week's revised count of 231,000 claims.
The print leaves
Continuing claims, which count people receiving ongoing
The gains in initial and continuing claims suggest the
To be sure, jobless claims track a very different corner of the labor market than overall job growth. Weekly claims counts also tend to be fairly volatile. Thursday's sum could be revised lower next week, and it's possible for the following weeks to show claims falling back below 200,000.
The increase could also point to a silver lining in the pandemic recession. Unemployment benefits were boosted with a federal supplement through much of the pandemic and expanded with programs targeting part-time and self-employed workers. The improvements led to historically strong uptake during the recession.
That's probably left the public more aware of
"It's not that the majority of unemployed workers don't get UI, it's that the majority never apply for it," Edwards said.
It's unclear just how much increased awareness is driving claims higher. But with job creation stalling and the labor shortage charging into 2022, it's likely a complete recovery is still several months away.
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