Applications for unemployment benefits fell by the most in five weeks, suggesting the resilient economy is making employers reluctant to reduce headcount.
(Bloomberg) — Applications for unemployment benefits fell by the most in five weeks, suggesting the resilient economy is making employers reluctant to reduce headcount.
Initial claims decreased by 11,000 to 239,000 in the week ended Aug. 12, according to Labor Department data out Thursday. The figure was in line with the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists.
Continuing claims, which include those who have received benefits for longer than one week, rose to 1.72 million in the period through Aug. 5.
The labor market continues to show strength despite the impact of higher borrowing costs on various sectors of the economy. While some employers are starting to scale back hiring, many are hesitant to dismiss workers after having trouble attracting and retaining talent during the pandemic.
The initial claims data can be particularly volatile in the summer months as automakers close for their annual retooling period. The four-week moving average, which smooths out some of that volatility, increased to 234,250.
On an unadjusted basis, claims decreased last week to 212,850. California, Texas and Michigan posted the largest declines, while applications rose in Virginia.
–With assistance from Jordan Yadoo.
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