Published On: Thu, Jul 22nd, 2021

Jobless Claims Rise Above Expectations, Suggesting Bumpy Road to Labor Market Recovery

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The number of American workers seeking unemployment benefits last week jumped to 419,000, well above expectations and a sign of a bumpy labor market recovery as the economy bounces back from pandemic lows. Initial filings for unemployment insurance, a proxy for layoffs, came in at 419,000 for the week ended July 17, the Labor Department said in a release (pdf) Thursday, an increase of 51,000 over the previous week’s level. Economists polled by Reuters predicted 350,000 applications for the latest week. “As with the recent resurgence in COVID cases stemming from the Delta variant, the jump in jobless claims is a disappointment,” said Bankrate senior economic analyst Mark Hamrick, in an emailed statement. “Recovery is never a perfect straight line.” At the same time, the number of people continuing to receive unemployment benefits through regular state programs fell to 3.2 million, the lowest level since March 2020. Also, the number of people receiving …

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