Economic Report: Jobless claims climb to three-month high of 231,000 in sign labor market is cooling

by | Nov 16, 2023 | Stock Market

The numbers: The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week jumped to a three-month high of 231,000, suggesting some softening around the edges of a strong U.S. labor market. New jobless claims climbed 13,000 from a revised 218,000 in the prior week, the government said.

Claims still show a very low number of job losses and indicate the economy is stable, but businesses are hiring less and the labor market appears to have cooled off a bit. Economists had forecast new claims in the week ending Nov. 11 to total 222,000. Key details: New jobless claims fell in 53 states and territories that report these figures to the federal government. They rose in 20 other states, with most of the increase in Massachusetts and New York. The number of raw or actual claims — that is, before seasonal adjustments — topped 200,000 for the second week in a row and also hit a three-month high. They had totaled less than 200,00 a month from late August until the end of October. Unemployment claims typically surge above 300,000 and eventually go a lot higher when a recession is near. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits in the U.S., meanwhile, rose for the eighth week in a row to seven-month hig …

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