By Gwynn Guilford

Jobless claims climbed slightly last week, as demand for workers keeps a lid on layoffs and the economic recovery shows signs it is holding up during the latest Covid-19 surge.

Initial unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, rose by 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000 last week from a revised 335,000 the prior week. The four-week moving average for initial claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, declined slightly and remained at its lowest level since the Covid-19 crisis began last year.

Recent claims figures could have been affected by disruptions from storms such as Hurricane Ida, economists said.

Filings for unemployment benefits have fallen steadily since mid-July as employers retain workers despite the Delta variant. "We expect that the downward trend that we've been seeing for a while will resume," said Nancy Vanden Houten, lead economist at Oxford Economics. "The big picture is that we expect the labor market recovery will continue."

Write to Gwynn Guilford at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 23, 2021 09:03 ET (13:03 GMT)

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