facebook linkedin twitter

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

Biden Admin Stepping Up Community Grants from COVID Bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden's administration is beginning to make $3 billion in economic development grants available to communities — a tenfold increase in the program paid for by this year's COVID-19 relief bill. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said her agency on Thursday will begin... Read More

July 21, 2021
by Brock Blasdell
Arizona Outpaces Nation In Post-COVID Private Sector Job Recovery

According to a recently released economic report by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, the state of Arizona has outpaced... Read More

According to a recently released economic report by the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity, the state of Arizona has outpaced the nation in private sector economic recovery post-COVID. In June alone, Arizona added 26,000 private sector jobs to its economy -- a rate 17% higher than... Read More

Biden's 3rd Trip to Reddish Ohio Pushes His Economic Agenda

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden just can't quit Ohio — even if it rejected him in last year's election.... Read More

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden just can't quit Ohio — even if it rejected him in last year's election. The Democrat travels to Cincinnati on Wednesday to push his economic policies. It's the third visit of his presidency to Ohio, the only state he lost... Read More

July 15, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Congress Searches for Way to Make Supply Chains Resilient

WASHINGTON -- The Senate continued its search Thursday for ways to prevent the kind of devastation brought to U.S. supply... Read More

WASHINGTON -- The Senate continued its search Thursday for ways to prevent the kind of devastation brought to U.S. supply chains by COVID-19. Industry executives told a Senate panel the pandemic exposed U.S. dependence on foreign suppliers to keep the lights on for their businesses. As... Read More

July 14, 2021
by Tom Ramstack
Small Business Advocates Plead for Help Recovering from the Pandemic

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses... Read More

WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress threw their support Tuesday behind President Joe Biden’s goal of helping small and rural businesses but with different perspectives on how to achieve it. Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine, suggested that Congress provide a dedicated source of funding for the Small Business... Read More

July 12, 2021
by Brock Blasdell
Explainer: Where are America’s Workers?

As the American economic engines churn back to life, one major hurdle stands in the way of our market renaissance... Read More

As the American economic engines churn back to life, one major hurdle stands in the way of our market renaissance - labor. Businesses, especially low wage, low skill businesses, are having a difficult time finding people to work for them.  The consequences of these shortages are... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top