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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

US jobless claims tick up slightly, remain historically low

A help wanted sign is posted inside a JCPenney store at The Shops at Tanforan on Sept. 1, 2023, in San Bruno, California. Retailer JCPenney announced plans to invest over $1 billion to revamp its struggling 121-year-old department store chain by remodeling stores and its online shopping website and app.   (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images North America/TNS)
By Augusta Saraiva Bloomberg News

Applications for U.S. unemployment benefits remained historically low last week, highlighting ongoing strength in the labor market.

Initial jobless claims ticked up slightly to 207,000 in the week ending Sept. 30, according to Labor Department data out Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for an increase to 210,000.

Continuing claims, a proxy for the number of people receiving unemployment benefits, were also little changed at 1.7 million in the week through Sept. 23.

The resilient labor market has continued to power consumer spending in the face of high inflation and interest rates. Demand for workers remains solid and the layoffs that made headlines earlier this year have largely eased.

The monthly employment report due Friday will provide more insights into the job market. Economists anticipate slowing but still healthy growth in nonfarm payrolls.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, which smooths out some of the volatility, edged down to 208,750, the lowest since February.

On an unadjusted basis, claims declined to the lowest level in a year. Applications fell the most in Ohio and Alabama, while they rose in California.