Weekly US jobless claims increase after falling to lowest level

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Initial jobless claims in the US last week increased to 202,000, after falling to the lowest level in decades, the Labour Department reported.

In the week ending March 26, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased by 14,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level of 188,000, according to a report released on Thursday by the Department’s Bureau of Labour Statistics.

The report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits, which runs a week behind the headline numbers, decreased by 35,000 to 1.3 million, reports Xinhua news agency.

That number peaked in April and May in 2020, when it was over 20 million.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programmes, state and federal combined, for the week ending March 12 also decreased by 81,975 to nearly 1.78 million.

The weekly jobless claims figure came one day after payroll data company Automatic Data Processing (ADP) reported that private companies in the US added 455,000 jobs in March.

The crucial monthly employment report is scheduled to be released by the Bureau of Labour Statistics on Friday, which will include employment data from both the private sector and the government.

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