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Jobless claims fall as employers appear reluctant to part with workers

Jobless claims fall to lowest level in two months



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'Jaw-dropping number:' Ex Obama economic adviser on the jobs report 04:06 (CNN)Weekly jobless claims fell to the lowest level since late June as employers appear reluctant to part with workers in a tight labor market.

According to a report from the US Department of Labor, 232,000 Americans filed first-time unemployment claims in the week ending August 27, a drop of 5,000 from the previous week's level, which was revised downward by 6,000 claims. That's the lowest level since the week ending in June 25, which reported 231,000 first-time claims.The decline in first-time claims also beat expectations from economists, who had predicted claims would increase. It also comes on the heels of several weeks of unexpected declines.The Labor Department said the number of continuing jobless claims for the week ended August 20 rose by 26,000 to 1.44 million, the highest level since early April.The US economy had more job openings than expected in JulyThe weekly jobless claim data is subject to revisions, however. Read MoreDespite recession fears and the Federal Reserve's attempts to slow the jobs market down, employers don't appear to be rushing to hand out pink slips. Earlier this week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that job openings unexpectedly rose in July to 11.2 million and there were 1.4 million layoffs, down 2,000 from June.While there have been several headlines about layoffs recently, the cuts seem to be mostly confined to certain types of businesses or industries.The bulk of layoff announcements have come from technology and tech-adjacent companies that scaled up their workforces to handle the sudden demand for their services during the pandemic, said said Ron Hetrick, senior labor economist for labor market analytics firm Lightcast. Because of health-and-safety measures and related public gathering restrictions, consumer dollars previously spent on services shifted to goods. And the underlying technology enabling those purchases needed to grow, he said.US employers announced 20,485 layoffs in August, a 21% drop from the month before but an increase of 30% from the same month a year ago, when the nation was still in the height of pandemic jobs recovery, according to a separate report from outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The number of job cuts announcements made through August is the lowest year-to-date total since 1993, Challenger, Gray & Christmas noted.-- CNN's Matt Egan contributed to this report


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