The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose by 9,000 to 244,000 in the week ended July 9, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would inch down to 234,000 from last week’s estimate of 235,000.
This is the highest level of claims since early November 2021.
Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits fell by 41,000 to 1.33 million. These so-called continuing claims are now back to pre-crisis levels.
Big picture: Claims have been creeping higher but the labor market remains quite tight. The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book reported that some firms were reluctant to lay off staff, worried that it will be remain hard to find and retain workers.