May 19, 2022 - Economy & Business

New jobless claims start to climb again

Now hiring sign
Now hiring signs are displayed in front of restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, on March 19. Photo: Stefani Reynolds / AFP via Getty Images

New unemployment claims are beginning to tick up again, according to new data released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Driving the news: The number of jobless claims rose by 21,000 to 218,000 for the week ending May 14. The uptick brought the four-week rolling average to 199,500, the department reported.

Yes, but: Despite the increase, the total number of Americans receiving continued unemployment benefits was at a 53-year low for the week ending May 7, the department said.

  • The economy added 428,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' chief economic correspondent Neil Irwin: The weekly numbers are volatile, so it's a bad idea to read too much into a small surge. The figures are still far below what you would expect to see in a recession.

  • That said, claims are usually the earliest indication that something is changing in the labor market.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show the economy added 428,000 jobs in April and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.6%. It did not add 266,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate did not rise to 6.1%.

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