June 16th, 2024

US applications for jobless benefits inch higher but remain at historically healthy levels

By Matt Ott, The Associated Press on November 2, 2023.

A hiring sign is displayed at a retail store in Wheeling, Ill., Sunday, Sept. 24, 2023. On Thursday, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits inched up last week but remains low by historical standards, even with the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes meant to cool the economy and taper lingering inflation.

Unemployment claims rose by 5,000 to 217,000 for the week ending Oct. 28, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Jobless claim applications are seen as representative of the number of layoffs in a given week.

The four-week moving average of claims, which quiets some of the week-to-week ups and downs, ticked up by 2,000 to 210,000.

Overall, 1.82 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended Oct. 21, about 35,000 more than the previous week.

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