First-Time Jobless Claims Tick Up

Filed under: Critical Evaluation,Labor Market Data,News |

​States reported that 351,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending September 18, an increase of 16,000 from the previous week’s revised level. Although new claims are down significantly from this time last year, they are still elevated compared to their 2019 weekly average of just over 200,000.

The total number of workers continuing to claim state unemployment benefits rose for the first time in weeks to 2.8 million. The general trending decline in jobless claims however is evidence that hiring difficulty has been the bigger drag on the labor market in recent months, rather than layoffs and separations.

Jobless claims have trended lower since mid-July, despite a rise in COVID-19 cases tied to the spread of the delta variant and weaker-than-expected job growth in August.

Some economists believe that with the current pace of job growth, unemployment claims will reach pre-pandemic levels in mid-2022.

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