Another 185,000 Americans filed new claims last week

U.S. jobless claims held near multi-decade lows last week as companies worked to keep employees on their payrolls amid ongoing labor shortages.

The Labor Department released its latest weekly jobless claims report Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ET. Here were the main metrics from the print compared to consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg:

  • Initial jobless claims, week ended April 9: 185,000 vs. 170,000 expected and a revised 167,000 during prior week

  • Continuing claims, week ended April 2: 1.475 million vs. 1.500 million expected, 1.523 million during prior week

While first-time unemployment claims rose slightly more than expected in the latest weekly data, they were still near a 54-year low set earlier this month. Weekly claims fell to the lowest level since 1968 during the prior week at just 167,000. That compares to the average of about 218,000 new claims filed per week throughout 2019 before the pandemic. And the latest figures represent a staggering reversal from the outsized claims filed at the height of the pandemic two years ago, when claims at one point topped 6.1 million in a single week in April 2020.

Given the surge and then decline in jobless claims, the Labor Department has also now reconfigured the way it adjusts the weekly data to account for seasonal factors. Starting last week, the Labor Department returned to using “multiplicative” seasonal adjustment factors for the data. For much of the pandemic, the department had been using “additive” seasonal adjustments…

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