Unemployment Benefits Rise as Jobless Claims Reach Highest Level in Months

James Hyerczyk
Updated: Jun 22, 2023, 15:16 UTC

Jobless claims at highest since October 2021, signaling cooling labor market.

Weekly Unemployment


  • Unemployment claims at 264,000, matching the previous week’s figure.
  • Four-week moving average rises to 255,750, the highest since November 2021.
  • 1.76 million people collecting unemployment benefits, an increase of 13,000.


The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits remained elevated last week, raising concerns about the impact of the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes on the labor market. The latest data from the Labor Department suggests that the resilience of the job market might be cooling down.

Jobless Claims Remain Elevated

According to the Labor Department’s report, U.S. applications for jobless claims stood at 264,000 for the week ending June 17, unchanged from the revised number of the previous week. This figure slightly exceeded analysts’ expectations and indicates a persistent level of unemployment claims. Notably, the claims numbers for the past two weeks have reached the highest levels since October 2021.

Unemployment Trend Raises Concerns

Furthermore, the four-week moving average of claims, which helps smooth out short-term fluctuations, increased by 8,500 to 255,750. This represents the highest level since November 2021, suggesting a potential trend of rising unemployment.

Jobless Claims Signal Challenges Ahead

The elevated number of jobless claims indicates ongoing challenges in the labor market, potentially driven by the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes. It raises questions about the sustainability of the job market’s resilience in the face of tightening monetary policy.

The labor market’s short-term outlook is bearish due to persistent unemployment claims and an upward trend. Data indicates the Federal Reserve’s rate hikes may be cooling the robust job market, necessitating ongoing monitoring of employment levels.

About the Author

James is a Florida-based technical analyst, market researcher, educator and trader with 35+ years of experience. He is an expert in the area of patterns, price and time analysis as it applies to futures, Forex, and stocks.

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