Number of Americans filing for jobless benefits jumps to highest level in 10 months

The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits jumped to the highest level in 10 months last week, another possible sign that the labor market is loosening under the weight of high interest rates.

Unemployment benefit applications for the week ending June 8 rose by 13,000 to 242,000, up from 229,000 the week before, the Labor Department reported today. That’s significantly more than the 225,000 new claims analysts were expecting.

The four-week average of claims, which softens some of the week-to-week volatility, rose to 227,000 an increase of 4,750 from the previous week.

In total, 1.82 million were collecting jobless benefits during the week that ended June 1, an increase of 30,000 and the most since early this year.

Weekly unemployment claims are seen as a stand-in for the number of U.S. layoffs in a given week and a sign of where the job market is headed. They have remained at historically low levels since millions of jobs vanished when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in the spring of 2020.