|Jobless claims rise for second straight week|
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, indicating further softening in the labor market despite still tight conditions as the Federal Reserve tries to slow demand to help tame inflation. Initial jobless claims increased to a seasonally-adjusted 262,000 last week from a revised 248,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 263,000 applications. Last week’s total was slightly above the prior 2022 peak set in July of 261,000 and was above the 2019 weekly average of 218,000. The four-week moving average for initial claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, rose by 4,500 to 252,000. Continuing claims, a proxy for the number of people receiving government unemployment payments, increased by 8,000 to 1.43m in the week ended July 30th. “The rise in initial claims since early April is a cool breeze blowing at the hot labor market this summer” and a clear sign that layoffs are happening at a growing number of companies, said Stuart Hoffman, senior economic advisor at PNC Financial Services Group.