The Department of Labor said Thursday that initial claims for unemployment had risen for the third consecutive week — a potential sign of a weakening economic outlook heading into the winter months.
The agency reported Thursday that 362,000 people filed for unemployment during the week ending Sept. 25. While that number is fairly low for the past 18 months, it marked a third consecutive increase during a time when officials hoped that job numbers had stabilized.
Weekly claims for unemployment peaked in 2021 in January at about 900,000 a month. Since then, job growth has been strong, but a third consecutive increase may come as a red flag to economists and policymakers.
The U.S. still has not returned to pre-pandemic levels of unemployment. As of August, the country was still experiencing a shortfall of 7 million jobs from pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.