Jobless claims up for second straight week, well below pandemic high, likely result of variant

The report shows claims increased 16,000 from the previous week.

Updated: September 23, 2021 - 11:23am

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Labor Department reported Thursday the number of Americans applying for first-time federal jobless benefits was 351,000  – marking the second-consecutive week of increases.

The report shows claims increased 16,000 from the previous week, according to the Associated Press.

The numbers from the past two weeks are significantly lower than the 900,000 earlier this year, a sign the economy is rebounding from the height of the pandemic but also a sign the emergence of COVID-19’s highly contagious Delta variant has slowed the recovery.