By Alice Seeley

On Aug. 4, the U.S. Department of Labor released its weekly unemployment report, which showed that applications for unemployment for the week ending July 30 increased by 6,000 to  260,000 from the prior week’s 254,000.

This is above the pre-COVID pandemic average of 218,000 applications and almost beat the eight-month high record of 261,000 in mid-July.

This is the highest level of unemployment applications since November 2021. Economists from Dow Jones are not surprised by this increase and actually predicted this increase. The number of Americans regularly receiving unemployment benefits rose by 48,000 to 1.416 million from the previous week. This is low compared to one year ago, when close to 12.96 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits.

The four-week average evens out the weekly ups and downs also rose by 6,000 to 254,750. In addition, the total number of people collecting unemployment benefits rose by 48,000 from the previous week to 1,416,000. This number has been close to 50-year-lows for months.

On Aug. 2, the U.S. Department of Labor reported fewer job openings in June as the economy deals with record high inflation and interest rates. Job openings decreased from 11.3 million to 10.7 million in June.

Before last year, job openings had never exceeded 8 million per month. Now, it is a common occurrence. The Department’s monthly jobs report will be released on Aug. 5 and is expected to show additional 250,000 job openings since June.