By Rina Torchinsky
New applications for unemployment benefits climbed again last week, reaching a new high for the year in a sign the tight labor market is slowly loosening.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, rose to a seasonally adjusted 251,000 in the week ended July 16 from 244,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday. Last week’s claims were above the 2019 prepandemic weekly average of 218,000, when the labor market was also strong, and 85,000 above the low point for the year reached in mid-March.
The four-week moving average for claims, which smooths weekly volatility, inched up to 240,500 last week, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average.
Continuing claims, a proxy for the total number of people receiving payments from state unemployment programs, rose to 1.4 million in the week ended July 9 from a revised 1.3 million in the previous week. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 21, 2022 09:16 ET (13:16 GMT)
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