Jobless Claims Remain Low Even With Biggest Rise in a Month

Luke Sharett/Bloomberg News

U.S. jobless-benefit claims remain low despite an increase last week, with the labor market otherwise exhibiting signs of continued tightening, Labor Department data showed June 1.

Highlights of Jobless Claims

• Initial filings increased by 13,000 to 248,000 (estimated 238,000).

• Continuing claims decreased by 9,000 to 1.915 million in the week ended May 20 (data reported with one-week lag).

• Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 238,000 from 235,500 in the prior week.

Key Takeaways

Despite the increase in the headline figure, which was the largest in a month, the number of Americans filing for benefit claims continues to hover near a 43-year-low.

Last week’s data had an unusually large portion come from estimates, as eight states including California and Texas — the two most populous — had approximated figures ahead of the Memorial Day holiday.

The labor market probably registered another solid performance last month, with a projected 180,000 additions to payrolls and the unemployment rate holding at a decade-low of 4.4 %. The Labor Department releases those monthly figures for May on June 2.

Other Details

• Previous week’s initial claims revised to 235,000 from 234,000.

• Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits remained unchanged at 1.4 %.

• The eight states with estimated figures also included Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota and Virginia.