Continuing jobless claims for the week ended September 3 increased by 36,000 to 1.47 million, the highest level in nearly five months, according to the Labor Department.
“We don’t expect initial claims to continue to fall, but don’t look for a sharp spike either,” Nancy Vanden Houten, lead US economist with Oxford Economics, told CNN Business. “Even as the economy is weighed down by higher interest rates, labor markets are only starting to loosen slightly. So we think employers will be reluctant to let go of workers, and will slow hiring first.”
Vanden Houten added that she expects continuing claims to track more closely with initial claims, and that the latest uptick likely reflects volatility from non-seasonally adjusted estimates provided by California.
August’s job gains, however, still remain well above pre-pandemic times, when the monthly average was about 200,000, Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.
The weekly initial jobless claims numbers are preliminary and subject to revision.