Initial claims for state unemployment benefits surged 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 219,000 for the week ended October 1, the Labor Department reported on Thursday. Data for the previous week was revised to show 3,000 fewer applications filed than earlier reported.
The US labor market has been highly resilient, though some gaps are emerging as the Federal Reserve ramps up its monetary policy tightening campaign. The Fed has raised its policy rate from near-zero at the beginning of this year to the current range of 3.00% to 3.25% and last month signaled more hikes were on the way this year.
Global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas in a report on Thursday said, US-based employers announced 29,989 job cuts in September, a 46.4% increase from August. Job cuts, which were led by retailers, were up 67.7% from the year-ago period. However, layoffs so far this year are 21% down compared to the first nine months of 2021.
Last month, employers announced plans to hire 380,014 workers, the lowest September total since 2011.
According to a government report on Tuesday, job openings decreased by 1.1 million, the biggest decline since April 2020, to 10.1 million on the last day of August. Economists do not anticipate widespread job cuts, saying companies were cautious of releasing their workforce after difficulties hiring last year as the COVID-19 pandemic forced people out of jobs, partly due to prolonged illness caused by the virus.
A measure of services sector employment jumped in September, with several industries reporting labor shortages, according to a survey by the Institute of Supply Management.
The number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of support, a proxy for hiring, increased by 15,000 to 1,361 million in the week ending September 24, the claims report showed.
The government’s employment report for the month of September is scheduled for release on Friday.