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US applications for jobless benefits rise, but layoffs remain at historically low levels

More Americans filed jobless benefits last week but layoffs remain at historically low levels despite elevated interest rates and a flurry of job cuts in the media and technology sectors

Matt Ott
Thursday 25 January 2024 13:38 GMT
Unemployment Benefits
Unemployment Benefits (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

More Americans filed jobless benefits last week but layoffs remain at historically low levels despite elevated interest rates and a flurry of job cuts in the media and technology sectors.

Applications for unemployment benefits rose to 214,000 for the week ending Jan. 20, an increase of 25,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure, fell by 1,500 to 202,250.

Overall, 1.83 million Americans were collecting jobless benefits during the week that ended Jan. 13, an increase of 27,000 from the previous week.

Weekly unemployment claims are viewed as representative for the number of U.S. layoffs in a given week. They have remained at extraordinarily low levels despite high interest rates and elevated inflation.

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