July 21st, 2024

Fewer Americans file for jobless claims, but continuing claims rise for 8th straight week

By Matt Ott, The Associated Press on June 27, 2024.

FILE - A hiring sign is displayed in Riverwoods, Ill., on April 16, 2024. On Thursday, June 27, 2024, the government reports on the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell last week as layoffs remain at healthy levels despite elevated interest rates and inflation.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims for the week ending June 22 fell by 6,000 to 233,000 from 239,000 the previous week.

However, the total number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits rose for the eighth straight week, to 1.84 million, for the week of June 15.

The four-week average of claims, which softens some of the week-to-week volatility, rose by 3,000 to 236,000.

Weekly unemployment claims – a proxy for layoffs – remain at low levels by historical standards, a sign that most Americans enjoy unusual job security. Still, after mostly staying below 220,000 this year, weekly claims have moved up recently.

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