The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits ticked higher last week, hitting the highest level in nine months — the latest sign that the historically tight labor market is starting to cool off.
Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show that applications for the week ended Aug. 6 rose to 262,000 from the downwardly revised 248,000 recorded a week earlier. That is above the 2019 pre-pandemic average of 218,000 claims and marks the highest level since mid-November.
Continuing claims, or the number of Americans who are consecutively receiving unemployment aid, rose slightly to 1,428 million for the week ended July 30, up by 8,000 from the previous week’s revised level. One year ago, nearly 12.96 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits.
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