The Labor Department said on Thursday that initial unemployment claims rose for the third consecutive week – a possible sign of a weakening economic outlook heading into the winter months.
The agency reported on Thursday that 362,000 people filed for unemployment in the week ending September 25. Although this number is still quite low over the last 18 months, it was a third consecutive increase at a time officials believed jobs were stabilizing.
In January 2021, the weekly unemployment benefits reached a peak of around 900,000. Although job growth has been strong since then, a third consecutive increase could signal that economists and policymakers are concerned.
The US has not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels of unemployment. From August, the country was still short of 7 million jobs in February 2020 from pre-pandemic levels.