. U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Reach 10-Month High Amid Cooling Labor Market

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Reach 10-Month High Amid Cooling Labor Market

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Reach 10-Month High Amid Cooling Labor Market

13 Jun 2024

U.S. weekly jobless claims hit a 10-month high.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits reached a 10-month high last week, signaling easing labor market conditions.

Initial claims rose by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 242,000 for the week ending June 8, the highest since last August, according to the Labor Department. Economists had expected 225,000 claims. The labor market is cooling as the cumulative effects of the Federal Reserve’s 525 basis points in rate hikes since 2022 impact the economy.

The unemployment rate increased to 4% in May, the first rise since January 2022, and economic growth slowed significantly in the first quarter. The Fed maintained its benchmark interest rate at 5.25%-5.50% and delayed potential rate cuts to December, with only a single quarter-percentage-point reduction projected for this year.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted that labor market conditions have returned to pre-pandemic levels, tight but not overheated. The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid, a proxy for hiring, increased by 30,000 to 1.820 million for the week ending June 1.