Jobless Claims Don’t Play Nice

Jobless claims by first-time filers rose by 25,000 last week, the Department of Labor reported today.

The weekly number tends to be volatile, but this is the largest change—positive or negative—since February 27, when weekly claims fell by 29,000.

Separately, the number of people claiming emergency unemployment benefits, for those who have exhausted their regular state benefits, fell the week of May 1 by 94,788. It’s unclear how many of these workers were taken off the rolls because they had found work and how many had hit the 99-week limit of their unemployment insurance.

A labor economist said today that unlike the spikes in April that were blamed on administrative backlog, this spike can’t be attributed to a holiday or other event.