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More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week – Boston News, Weather, Sports

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week, but the total number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits remains at a five-decade low.

Jobless claims rose 27,000 to 229,000 in the week ended June 4, the highest since mid-January, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial applications usually track the number of layoffs.

The four-week average of claims, which offsets some of the weekly volatility, rose 8k from the previous week to 215k.

The total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits for the week ended May 28 was unchanged from the previous week at 1,306,000, the lowest since January 10, 1970.

Two years after the coronavirus pandemic plunged the economy into a short but devastating recession, American workers enjoy historically strong job security. Weekly jobless claims were consistently below pre-pandemic levels of 225,000 for most of 2022, even as the broader economy contracted in the first quarter and inflation worries lingered.

Last week, the government reported that US employers added 390,000 jobs in May, continuing a period of solid hiring that has buoyed an economy troubled by high inflation and rising interest rates.

Last month’s gain reflected a resilient job market, which has so far shrugged off worries of a slowdown in the economy in the coming months as the Federal Reserve steadily hikes interest rates to fight inflation. The unemployment rate remained at 3.6%, just above a half-century low.

May job growth, while healthy, was the lowest monthly gain in a year. But it was high enough to keep the Fed on track to deliver what is likely its fastest string of rate hikes in more than 30 years.

Consumer-level inflation eased slightly in April after months of inexorable increases, but remained near a four-decade high. Consumer prices rose 8.3% yoy last month, just below the 8.5% yoy rise in March, the highest since 1981.

In early May, the US Federal Reserve intensified its fight against inflation by raising its short-term benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, announcing further large rate hikes.

The Fed meets again next week.

(Copyright (c) 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed, or redistributed.)

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https://whdh.com/news/more-americans-apply-for-jobless-benefits-last-week/ More Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week – Boston News, Weather, Sports

Nate Jones

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