By Sarah Chaney Cambon
New applications for unemployment benefits ticked down last week and hovered near historic lows, a sign the U.S. labor market remains tight despite signs of an economic slowdown.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, fell to a seasonally adjusted 229,000 last week from the previous week's revised level of 231,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That is slightly above the 2019 prepandemic weekly average of 218,000, when the job market was also historically tight.
Claims have steadily climbed upward since hitting a 53-year low this spring. The four-week average for claims, which smooths out volatility in the weekly figures, increased to 223,500.
Thursday's report showed continuing claims, a proxy for the total number of people receiving payments from state unemployment programs, rose to 1.32 million in the week ended June 11 from 1.31 million a week earlier. That also is a historically low level. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 23, 2022 09:00 ET (13:00 GMT)Copyright (c) 2022 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.