Friday, July 12, 2024

US job growth slowed in June, latest employment data shows | CNN Business

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Last week, there were an estimated 238,000 first-time claims filed for unemployment benefits, an increase of 4,000 from the week before, according to Department of Labor data released Wednesday. The latest uptick brought the four-week average of initial claims to its highest level since August 2023.

Also, Americans are staying unemployed for longer: Continuing claims, which are filed by people who have received benefits for at least a week or more, rose to their highest level since November 2021.

Luke Tilley, Wilmington Trust’s chief economist, told CNN he is closely watching an underlying datapoint of the monthly jobs report: Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment.

“On a three-month average basis, it’s up about 200,000 people from last year,” Tilley said. “And that metric of permanent job losers, year-over-year, is almost never positive in an expansion. It was never positive between 2010 and 2019; it was not positive in between the tech crash recession of 2001 and then 2008.”

He added: “So when you sort of peel back the onion from what looks like very strong job growth in a raw number count and look at it a little closer … that paints a labor market that has normalized and is at risk of slipping.”

Still, other measures of layoff activity haven’t shown a worrisome spike.

US-based employers announced fewer job cuts last month than they did in May; however, those layoff reports are trending well above last year’s, according to data released Wednesday by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

The outplacement and workplace research firm counted 48,786 cuts announced in June. That’s down nearly 24% from the 63,618 cuts announced in May, but 19.8% higher than the 40,709 cuts announced in June last year.

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