Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Jobless claims rise again after declining to lowest level during the pandemic

The number of Americans filing new jobless claims has ticked back up after previously declining to the lowest level since the pandemic began.

The Labor Department said Thursday that 719,000 more Americans filed new jobless claims last week, up 61,000 claims from the revised level of the previous week. This number came in above expectations, as economists were predicting there would be around 675,000 new claims, CNBC reports.

A total of 684,000 new jobless claims had been reported last week, which was the lowest level of weekly claims since the COVID-19 pandemic began, although this number was revised down on Thursday to 658,000. By rising back up to 719,000 claims, Thursday's total is once again higher than the pre-pandemic record for most weekly claims, 695,000.

But the Labor Department also said Thursday the four-week moving average of jobless claims declined to 719,000, the lowest level since March 14, 2020. Capital Economics economist Michael Pearce told The Wall Street Journal the "recovery is beginning to accelerate, particularly in the labor market," and Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson said that "taking the two weeks together it's clear that the trend in claims is falling," per CNBC. Still, Bloomberg wrote that Thursday's unexpected rise "underscores the choppy nature of the labor market recovery."