US Jobless Claims Rise by Most in 5 Months

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose by the most in five months, according to a report from the Labor Department released on Thursday, The Associated Press reports.

As of the week ending February 25, about 1.72 million people were receiving jobless aid, an increase of 69,000 from the previous week.

For the week ending March 4, applications for jobless claims, which serve as an indicator for layoffs, in the U.S. rose by 21,000 to 211,000, up from 190,000 the previous week.

This is the first time in eight weeks that claims have come in above 200,000.

The tech sector has seen a recent uptick in layoffs, as many companies overhired during the pandemic boom.

IBM, Microsoft, Amazon, Salesforce, Facebook parent Meta, Twitter, and DoorDash have all announced layoffs in recent months.

However, the real estate sector has been the hardest hit by the Fed’s interest rate hikes.

Higher mortgage rates, currently above 6%, have slowed home sales for 12 straight months, almost in lockstep with the Fed’s rate hikes that began last March.

Meanwhile, inflation remains more than double the Fed’s 2% target.