Applications For Jobless Aid Rising But Still At Low Levels

Applications For Jobless Aid Rising But Still At Low Levels

The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid was higher than the government reported in the past few months, reflecting a slight increase in layoffs as the economy slowed due to higher interest rates.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of applications since the beginning of February has remained above 200,000 — above previous estimates, though still relatively low by historical standards.

The department revised its estimates of the number of weekly applications for jobless benefits under a new formula being used to reflect seasonal adjustments. The new formula aims to more accurately capture seasonal patterns in job losses.

For the week ending April 1, the number of Americans applying for jobless aid was 228,000, the government estimates. This was down from 246,000 in the previous week and 247,000 in the week before. Using its new seasonal adjustment formula, the government revised each of these figures by about 50,000.

Applications for unemployment benefits serve as a proxy for the number of job cuts because most people who file for unemployed aid have been laid off. About 1.82 million people were receiving jobless aid in the week ending March 25, an increase of 6,000 from the week before.

Although the US labor market remains healthy, layoffs are on the rise in the technology sector, where many companies hired aggressively during the pandemic. IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, Twitter and DoorDash have all announced layoffs in recent months. Amazon and Facebook have announced two sets of job cuts through early 2023.

“The trend in seasonally adjusted initial claims is significantly higher than previously estimated,” said Stephen Stanley, principal US economist at Santander US Capital Markets, suggesting that the flurry of layoff announcements so far this year is being reflected in these figures. It’s on.” Written in a research note.

Matt Ott, The Associated Press


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