The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week.
The Labor Department said Thursday that 351,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ended Sept. 18, an increase from the previous week’s upwardly revised 335,000 filings. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv were expecting 320,00 new filings.
"Despite the rise, claims are still near a pandemic-era low," said Chris Giamo, head of commercial banking at TD Bank.
Continuing claims for the week ended Sept. 11 jumped to 2.845 million, worse than the 2.65 million that analysts were expecting. The prior week’s reading was revised higher by 49,000 to 2.714 million filings.
The increase in continuing claims came a week after the expiration of $300 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits.
About 11.25 million Americans received some form of unemployment assistance, a drop of more than 856,000 from the prior week. More than 26.6 million Americans filed for benefits during the comparable week in 2020.
"For those ready to return to work following a period of displacement or unemployment, there are a record number of open jobs awaiting," Giamo said.
There were 10.9 million jobs open in July, according to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey released earlier this month.