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Tame Unemployment Claims a Contrast to Job Cuts

Initial Jobless Claims rose by 2,000 to 207,000 in the latest week, with the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time continuing to hover near eight-month lows. The low level of first-time filings suggests that employers are holding on to workers.

Continuing Claims fell by 1,000, reaching the lowest level since January, with 1.664 million people still receiving benefits after filing their initial claim. This data has been trending lower since topping 1.861 million in early April, reflecting a mix of people finding new jobs and benefits expiring.

What’s the bottom line? The low level of unemployment claims paints a much different picture than the latest Job Cuts report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, which showed that job cuts year-to-date are the highest January to September total since 2009 (except for COVID in 2020). Again, we’ll find out how the Fed responds to the mixed labor sector data at their meeting on November 1.