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Weekly jobless claims increased over expected to 362,000

Weekly jobless claims increased over expected to 362,000

October 01, 2021: -Initial jobless claims climbed again in the previous week, increasing to 362,000 as hiring appeared to remain sluggish while the U.S. continues to fight against the delta variant.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting 335,000 new filings, the same number as the upwardly revised total from the previous week. A surge in claims from California helped account for much of the gains.

The seasonally adjusted total was the highest since the 377,000 for the week ended August 7 and indicated that hiring might be slowing when concerns are growing about the pace of the economic recovery and the impact the pandemic may have heading into autumn.

Markets reacted little to the news, with stock futures increasing and government bond yields around the flat.

The four-week moving average for weekly claims, which smoothes volatility in the numbers, edged lower to 335,750.

Continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline weekly number, rose to 2.84 million, increasing 131,000. The four-week moving average for continuing claims fell to 2.8 million, a drop of 15,750 and the lowest since March 14, 2020, the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

With enhanced unemployment benefits coming to a close, the total of those enrolled under all programs fell to 11.25 million, a drop of 856,440. A year ago, 26.6 million were receiving benefits under programs the government had developed to combat massive pandemic-related layoffs.

California saw 24,221 new claims, according to unadjusted numbers. Earlier this month, the state implemented a program in which those cut off from enhanced aid could file for an additional week of benefits.

Virginia also saw a significant increase, with 12,879 new filings. Hurricane-ravaged Louisiana saw a decline of 7,308.

A separate report Thursday showed that gross domestic product for the second quarter rose 6.7%, according to the third and final reading from the Commerce Department. That was slightly above the previous estimate of 6.6%, the Dow Jones forecast for the last lesson.

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