Weekly claims for unemployment benefits in the US rise again and reach 225,000

First-time jobless claims rose to 225,000 for the week ending Dec. 24, according to Labor Department data released Thursday, Dec. 29.

That’s an increase of 9,000 from the previous week’s tally of 216,000.

Economists expected 225,000 initial grant requests, according to Refinitiv estimates.

Initial weekly claims for grants have remained at pre-pandemic levels for the past few months, only slightly above the 2019 weekly average of 218,000.

Claims for continuing benefits, which are filed by people who have received unemployment benefits for more than a week, rose to 1.71 million for the week ending December 17. Before they were 1.67 million.

The most recent numbers for continuous claims are now at their highest level since February.