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Jobless Claims Surge to Highest Levels Since 2021, Blowing Past Forecasts

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The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims increased more than expected to 261,000 in the week ending June 3, the Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Claims rose 28,000 compared with the previous week’s revised level, the department said in a news release.

It’s the highest number of initial jobless claims since October 2021, when 264,000 were filed.

It also substantially exceeded the median forecast, which was 236,000, according to MarketWatch.

The report suggests the labor market is beginning to exhibit indications of a slowdown, Bloomberg reported.

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Jobless claims increased by 3,000, and 1,757,000 Americans received unemployment benefits in the week ending May 27, according to the DOL.

The DOL figures line up with a Bureau of Labor Statistics report Friday showing that unemployment increased from 3.4 percent to 3.7 percent in May.

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That report’s household survey revealed a plunge of 23,000 full-time jobs and 220,000 part-time jobs.

Moreover, a World Bank report on Tuesday predicted that the U.S. economy would slow to a 1.1 percent growth rate in 2023.

The U.S. economy decelerated to a 1.3 percent annual growth rate in the first quarter of 2023, according to revised gross domestic product statistics published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis in May, while the trade deficit expanded by $14 billion in April compared to March as exports plummeted and imports increased, according to the BEA.

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