The number of Americans requesting unemployment benefits last week increased to its highest level in almost 8 months, although fewer people received benefits overall.
Washington, D.C. The number of Americans requesting unemployment benefits last week increased to its highest level in almost 8 months, although fewer people received benefits overall.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of applications for unemployment benefits increased by 9,000 to 244,000 for the week ending July 9 from 235,000 the previous week. Applications from new applicants typically reflect layoffs. Analysts had anticipated that the number would not change from the prior week.
The week-to-week volatility is lessened somewhat by the four-week average of claims, which increased by 3,250 from the prior week to 235,750.
For the week ending July 2, 1,331,000 Americans received unemployment benefits, a 41,000 decrease from the previous week. For months, that number has been close to 50-year lows.
The Labor Department announced this week that companies added 372,000 jobs in June, which was an unexpectedly large increase and on par with the pace of the two prior months. Given the more general indicators of economic deterioration, economists had anticipated that job growth would decline significantly last month.
For the fourth consecutive month, the unemployment rate stayed at 3.6%, matching a low that had not been seen in nearly 50 years before the epidemic began in early 2020.
The government also revealed this week that, despite indications that the economy is deteriorating, American firms advertised fewer positions in May, even while the demand for workers generally remained high. For every person who is unemployed, there are almost two job vacancies.
The government said on Wednesday that consumer prices increased 9.1% from a year earlier, which is the highest annual increase since 1981. Prices increased by a staggering 1.3% from May to June, following an increase of 1% from April to May.
According to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday, wholesale inflation increased 11.3% from a year earlier in June.
The peculiar nature of the post-pandemic economy is reflected in all of those numbers: Consumers are being forced to cut down on spending due to inflation, and concerns about an impending recession are growing as GDP slows.
The Federal Reserve increased rates by a half percent in May and a further, extremely rare three-quarter point hike last month in a bid to confront the worst inflation in more than four decades. When the Federal Reserve meets later this month, the majority of experts predict that it will increase its borrowing rate by another half to three-quarters of a point.
These rate rises reduce profitability for businesses through raising borrowing costs, rentals, and mortgage payments in addition to reducing the typical American’s income. In response, investors have fled the equities market and flocked to the bond market. The S&P 500 has dropped by almost 20%, the Dow Jones industrials by about 15%, and the Nasdaq by more than 28% since the start of the year.
Even while the three-quarter labor market is currently robust, notable companies including Tesla, Netflix, Carvana, Redfin, and Coinbase have announced layoffs.
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