WASHINGTON — Slightly more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but layoffs have settled to the low, pre-pandemic levels seen before the coronavirus recession in 2020.
Jobless claims rose by 11,000 to 227,000 for the week ending March 5, the Labor Department reported today. The previous week’s number was 216,000. First-time applications for jobless aid generally track the pace of layoffs.
The four-week average for claims, which compensates for weekly volatility, rose by 500 to to 230,750.
In total, 1,474,000 Americans were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Feb. 26, up slightly from the week before that. The four-week moving average is at its lowest level in more than 50 years.