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U.S. Jobless Claims Increase Unexpectedly, But Job Market Remains Tight

The US Department of Labor reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims rose to 211,000 in the week ending March 4, a 21,000-increase from the previous week's unrevised level of 190,000.[0] This marks the highest level since November 2021 and the largest increase in five months.[1]

Continuing claims, which include people who have received unemployment benefits for a week or more, rose by the most since November 2021, totaling 1,718,000 during the week ending February 25.

Unexpectedly, the amount of U.S. citizens filing for jobless benefits rose last week, achieving the highest figure in three months. Applications for unemployment benefits last week rose to the highest since December, driven by spikes in California and New York and suggesting some softening in what’s still a tight labor market.

However, initial jobless claims decreased by 20,000 to 192,000 in the week ended March 11.[2] It was predicted by economists in a Bloomberg survey that 205,000 applications would be submitted.[3] Additionally, continuing jobless claims, representing the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1,684,000 during the week ending March 4, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week's revised level of 1,713,000.

Overall, the current job market is still quite tight and the overall trend of unemployment remains low despite some recent increases.

0. “Gold prices near session highs as U.S. weekly jobless claims rise back above 200K, hitting a nine-week high” Kitco NEWS, 9 Mar. 2023,

1. “US Jobless Claims Jump to 211,000, Highest Level Since December” Bloomberg, 9 Mar. 2023,

2. “Initial Jobless Claims Declined by 20,000 in Week Ending March 11” Floor Focus, 16 Mar. 2023,

3. “US Jobless Claims Drop by Most Since July, Led by New York” Bloomberg, 16 Mar. 2023,