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First-time jobless claims slightly increased last month from previous week's pandemic low, feds

The 312,000 from two weeks earlier was the lowest since March 2020

Updated: September 16, 2021 - 10:27am

The number of U.S. workers seeking first-time jobless benefits last week was 332,000, an increase of 20,000 from a pandemic-low the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The 312,000 from two weeks earlier was the lowest since March 2020. Unemployment numbers have fallen steadily for two month. Last week’s number has raised some concern about whether the spread of COVID-19’s highly-contagious delta variant has slowed the country’s economic recovery from the height of the pandemic.

However, last week’s increase was small and appears temporary – considering the four-week average of jobless claims, which smooths out fluctuations in the weekly data, dropped for the fifth straight week to just below 336,000, the lowest number since the pandemic began, according to the Associated Press. 

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