By Bryan Mena

Worker filings for initial unemployment benefits rose by 37,000 to 412,000 last week, marking the first increase since late April and pausing what had been a steady downward trend in filings.

The increase was the biggest jump since late March, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised slightly to 375,000.

The four-week moving average, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, reached a new pandemic low of 395,000. This is the lowest average level since March 2020, when the pandemic first took hold in the U.S.

The latest claims figures came as Covid-19 restrictions continue to wane. Total new claims in recent weeks have moved closer to what economists consider a normal range.

The long-term average of initial jobless claims dating back to 1967--including periods of expansion and recession--is 371,763, according to Labor Department data.

Write to Bryan Mena at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 17, 2021 09:03 ET (13:03 GMT)

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