March 3rd, 2024

US applications for unemployment benefits fall again despite recent layoff announcements

By Matt Ott, The Associated Press on February 8, 2024.

A hiring sign is displayed outside of Golf Center in Des Plaines, Ill., Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024. 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 filing for jobless claims fell last week despite more layoff announcements from high-profile companies recently.

Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 9,000 to 218,000 for the week ending Feb. 3, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week average of claims, which evens out some of the weekly volatility, increased by 3,750 to 212,250.

Weekly unemployment claims are seen as a proxy for the number of U.S. layoffs in a given week. They have remained at extraordinarily low levels despite efforts by the U.S. Federal Reserve to cool the economy.

In total, 1.87 million Americans were collecting jobless benefits during the week that ended Jan. 27, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week.

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