U.S. Jobless Claims Rebound Following Fifteen Straight Weekly Declines

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After reporting decreases in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits for fifteen straight weeks, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a notable rebound in jobless claims in the week ended July 18th.

The report said initial jobless claims jumped to 1.416 million, an increase of 109,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1.307 million.

Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 1.300 million originally reported for the previous month.

Jobless claims increased for the first time since late March but remain well below the record high of 6.867 million set in the week ended March 28th.

"The labor market remains in a precarious place as Covid-19 cases surge in some parts of the country and stricter measures are adopted in response," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

She added, "Claims data from the last few weeks point to layoffs and less rehiring in possible signs of job losses in July payroll employment.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average fell to 1,360,250, a decrease of 16,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,376,750.

The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also tumbled by 1.107 million to 16.197 million in the week ended July 11th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped to 17,505,250, a decrease of 758,500 from the previous week's revised average of 18,263,750.

"The continuing claims figures suggest some rehiring is occurring, but the initial claims data suggest we might see some pause in that activity," said Vanden Houten.

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