U.S. Jobless Claims Remain Low Even With Biggest Rise in a Month

U.S. jobless-benefit claims remain low despite an increase last week, with the labor market otherwise exhibiting signs of continued tightening, Labor Department data showed Thursday.


  • Initial filings increased by 13k to 248k (est. 238k)
  • Continuing claims decreased by 9k to 1.915m in week ended May 20 (data reported with one-week lag)
  • Four-week average of initial claims, a less-volatile measure than the weekly figure, rose to 238k from 235.5k in the prior week
  • Key Takeaways

    Despite the increase in the headline figure, which was the largest in a month, the number of Americans filing for benefit claims continues to hover near a 43-year-low. Last week’s data had an unusually large portion come from estimates, as eight states including California and Texas — the two most populous — had approximated figures ahead of the Memorial Day holiday. The labor market probably registered another solid performance last month, with a projected 180,000 additions to payrolls and the unemployment rate holding at a decade-low of 4.4 percent. The Labor Department releases those monthly figures for May on Friday.

    Other Details

  • Previous week’s initial claims revised to 235,000 from 234,000
  • Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits remained unchanged at 1.4 percent
  • The eight states with estimated figures also included Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, North Dakota and Virginia
  • Bloomberg

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    Dean Popplewell

    Dean Popplewell

    Vice-President of Market Analysis at MarketPulse
    Dean Popplewell has nearly two decades of experience trading currencies and fixed income instruments. He has a deep understanding of market fundamentals and the impact of global events on capital markets. He is respected among professional traders for his skilled analysis and career history as global head of trading for firms such as Scotia Capital and BMO Nesbitt Burns. Since joining OANDA in 2006, Dean has played an instrumental role in driving awareness of the forex market as an emerging asset class for retail investors, as well as providing expert counsel to a number of internal teams on how to best serve clients and industry stakeholders.
    Dean Popplewell