Report: U.S. Jobless Claims Increase To Highest Level Since August

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JULY 28: A "help wanted" sign is displayed in a window in Manhattan on July 28, 2022 in New York City. The Commerce Department said on Thursday that the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) fell 0.2 percent in the second quarter. With two GDP declines in a row, many economists fear that the United States could be entering a recession. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
8:40 AM – Thursday, May 9, 2024

Unemployment benefit claims have climbed to its highest level since August 2023, initial filings show. 


Jobless claims increased by a staggering 22,000 to 231,000 in the week ending on May 4th, according to Labor Department data released Thursday. This went way above economists’ expectations.

The four-week moving average, which helps clear out exaggerated numbers, increased to 215,000, which is up 4,750 from the previous week and the highest figure since February. 

Before this week, first-time applications hadn’t reached the 200,000-to-222,000 range in the past three months, according to Bloomberg

The latest data also shows that the number of layoffs across the U.S. increased as well. 

The newest report came out after April’s jobs report came out weaker than expected, adding just 175,000 new positions in April, which fell way short of the expected 240,000 from analysts. 

However, a month earlier, March experienced a surprising increase of 303,000 new roles, while February’s finished at 270,000. 

Massive layoffs have happened across America since the beginning of the month from large corporations like Peloton and Allen Media. 

Additionally, jobless claims increased by the highest number in a month, to 1.79 million in the week that ended on April 27th

Wall Street was only expecting two 25-basis-point cuts to take place at the beginning of September. 

Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Economics stated on Thursday: “We’d need to see at least a month of elevated readings to convince us that the trend really has turned.”

However, he forewarned that “In the run-up to the recessions of 1990-to-91 and 2001, payroll growth slowed from 150-to-200K to just about zero in only four months. The warning signs were downplayed because the most recent data looked fine, then suddenly, things changed. It’s too soon to be sure the same story is about to play out now, but the risk is higher than at any previous point in this cycle, and we are nervous.”

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