Weekly initial jobless claims surprised analysts on Thursday as they were higher than expected. At 261,000, the number of claims was the highest in two years. MarketWatch’s Jeffry Bartash reports:
The numbers: The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits in early June jumped to a nearly two-year high of 261,000, but most of the increase took place in just two states: Ohio and California.
New jobless claims in the seven days ended June 3 climbed by 28,000 from the prior week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The figures are seasonally adjusted.
Layoffs rose early in the year and pushed jobless claims above 200,000, but until this week, Jobless claims has barely changed since the spring and indicated that layoffs remained low.
Key details: Of the 53 U.S. states and territories that report jobless claims, 27 showed an increase last week. The other 26 posted a decline.
Most of the increase was in California and Ohio. Minnesota also saw a sizable increase.
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