The Washington Post

Reports show jumps in jobless claims, layoffs


Applicatio­ns for U.S. unemployme­nt benefits last week rose to the highest point since December, driven by spikes in California and New York and suggesting some softening in what is still a tight labor market.

Initial unemployme­nt claims increased by 21,000, to 211,000, in the week that ended Saturday, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Continuing claims from people who have received unemployme­nt benefits for a week or more — which are a good indicator of how hard it is for people to find work after losing their job — rose by the most since November 2021, to 1.72 million in the week that ended Feb. 25.

A separate report Thursday showed that layoffs announced by U.S. employers quintupled in February from a year earlier and were the largest at the start of any year since 2009.

There were 77,770 job cuts announced last month, up from 15,245 in February 2022, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. That brought the two-month total to 180,713 jobs, the most for any JanuaryFeb­ruary period since 2009, the outplaceme­nt firm said. Tech companies have accounted for about one-third of the total.

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