Unemployment claims rise to highest level in 2022

The number of Americans applying unemployment benefits tapped higher last week, reaching a nine-month high – the latest sign that the historically tight labor market is beginning to cool.

Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show that the number of applications for the week ending August 6 rose to 262,000 from the downwardly revised 248,000 registered a week earlier. That’s above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims and marks the highest level since mid-November.

Ongoing claims, or the number of Americans consecutively receiving unemployment aid, rose slightly to 1,428 million for the week ended July 30, up 8,000 from last week’s revised level. A year ago, nearly 12.96 million Americans received unemployment benefits.

For months, the labor market has been one of the few bright spots in the economy, with the July jobs report showing the unemployment rate plummeting to 3.5% – the lowest level since February 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit much of the mark. of the US economy.

INFLATION DISTRIBUTION IN JULY: WHERE ARE THE RISING PRICES HITTING AMERICANS HARDEST?

Jobs fair recruitment

A man hands his resume to an employer at the 25th Annual Central Florida Employment Council Job Fair at the Central Florida Fairgrounds. More than 80 companies recruited for more than a thousand jobs. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images/Getty Images)

However, there are signs that the job market is beginning to weaken, with a plethora of companies, including Alphabet’s Google, Walmart, Apple, Meta and Microsoft, announcing freezes or layoffs in recent weeks.

There is growing fear that the US economy is on the brink of – or already in – a recession as a result of the The Federal Reserve’s War On Inflation. The central bank is raising interest rates at the fastest pace in decades as it pushes to lower consumer prices, which rose 8.5% in July — a big drop from June, but still close to a multi-level high. decades.

Now renting boards in Deleware

Now Hiring signs will be displayed for restaurants in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware on March 19, 2022. ((Photo by STEFANI REYNOLDS/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

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Policymakers approved another mega-rate hike of 75 basis points – three times the usual size – at their July meeting and have since signaled that they are “not close” to ending this tightening cycle, despite signs of a slowing economy.

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