Unemployment Claims Post Largest Increase in Nearly Two Years

April 25, 2019 by Dan McCue

The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits saw their largest increase in 19 months last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended April 20, the department said.

“Jobless claims continue to point to tight labor market conditions,” said Bloomberg economist Eliza Winger in an analyst’s note. “The number of workers filing new applications for unemployment increased more than expected, but it is not unusual to see some volatility in the week before or after the Easter holiday. Jobless claims will likely revert back to the pre-holiday trend.”

The instability around Easter and Passover is often attributed to school closures around those holidays. The same goes for spring break. In some states school employees are eligible for unemployment benefits if they aren’t being paid during the week.

The increase was the largest since early September 2017, and it seemed to surprise economists who had predicted claims rising to only 200,000 last week.

Only a week before claims had dropped to 193,000, which was the lowest level since September 1969.

The 4-week moving average was 206,000, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 201,250 to 201,500.

Despite the volatility, the labor market remains strong. Job gains averaged 180,000 in the first quarter, well above the roughly 100,000 jobs per month needed to keep up with growth in the working-age population.

The unemployment rate is currently 3.8 percent, close to the 3.7 percent Federal Reserve officials project it will be by the end of the year.

In The News

Health

Voting

Economy

Desperate for Workers, US Restaurants and Stores Raise Pay
Employment
Desperate for Workers, US Restaurants and Stores Raise Pay

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. restaurants and stores are rapidly raising pay in an urgent effort to attract more applicants and keep up with a flood of customers as the pandemic eases. McDonald's, Sheetz and Chipotle  are just some of the latest companies to follow Amazon, Walmart ... Read More

COVID-19 Pet Boom Has Veterinarians Backlogged, Burned Out
Mental Health
COVID-19 Pet Boom Has Veterinarians Backlogged, Burned Out

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — During the gloomiest stretches of the pandemic, Dr. Diona Krahn's veterinary clinic has been a puppy fest, overrun with new four-legged patients.  Typically, she'd get three or four new puppies a week, but between shelter adoptions and private purchases, the 2020... Read More

How Income Volatility Impacts Health Decisions
Health
How Income Volatility Impacts Health Decisions
May 7, 2021
by Alexa Hornbeck

This week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics released data that the U.S. birth rate is the lowest it’s been since 1979, and one theory on why this is happening is younger individuals who are of childbearing-age are putting off... Read More

Middle East Needs to Move to 'A New Economic Model,' According to IMF Official
Think Tanks
Middle East Needs to Move to 'A New Economic Model,' According to IMF Official
May 7, 2021
by Daniel Mollenkamp

An official from the International Monetary Fund argued this week that the Middle East and Central Asia regions should shift towards a new and inclusive economic model as they emerge from the pandemic, echoing IMF claims that this is the time for a world economic shift. ... Read More

US Employment Situation Improves Slowly but Surely
Employment
US Employment Situation Improves Slowly but Surely
May 7, 2021
by Victoria Turner

With the US unemployment rate essentially unchanged from March to April from 6.0% to 6.1% respectively, the American state of employment seems to continue on its positive track, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics latest report.  Employment in nonfarm jobs increased by 266,000 in April,... Read More

$28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund Open for Enrollment
Business
$28.6 Billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund Open for Enrollment
May 3, 2021
by Reece Nations

The Small Business Administration began accepting applications on Monday for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a program authorized in March by the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act. To receive funding, businesses must submit their application to the SBA on a first-come, first-served basis at restaurants.sba.gov.... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top