fb-pixelUS applications for jobless claims edge up - The Boston Globe Skip to main content

US applications for jobless claims edge up

A hiring sign posted in front of a U-Haul rental center on Nov. 3 in San Rafael, Calif. Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 13,000 to 231,000 for the week ending Nov. 11, the Labor Department reported Thursday.Justin Sullivan/Getty

More Americans filed for jobless claims last week, but the labor market remains broadly healthy in the face of retreating inflation and elevated interest rates.

Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 13,000 to 231,000 for the week ending Nov. 11, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That's the most in three months.

Jobless claim applications are seen as representative of the number of layoffs in a given week.

In Massachusetts, about 5,979 individuals filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, up 2,961 from the week prior, according to the Labor Department.

The four-week moving average of claims, a less volatile measure, rose by 7,750 to 220,250.


Overall, 1.87 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended Nov. 4, about 32,000 more than the previous week and the most since March.

Analysts suggest that those so-called “continuing claims,” are steadily rising because many of those who are already unemployed may now be having a harder time finding new work.

Still, the American labor market continues to show resiliency in the midst of the Federal Reserve’s campaign to get inflation back down to its 2 percent target.

Though Fed officials opted to leave the benchmark rate alone at their most recent policy meeting, the US central bank has raised rates 11 times since March of 2022 in an effort to tame inflation, which reached a four-decade high in 2022. Part of the Fed’s goal is too cool the economy and labor market, which officials say should slow price growth.

It's been a long slog, but it the Fed's actions appear to be working.

Overall inflation didn’t rise from September to October, the first time that consumer prices collectively haven’t budged from one month to another in more than a year. Compared with a year earlier, prices rose 3.2 percent in October, the smallest such rise since June, though still above the Fed’s 2 percent inflation target.


The Labor Department reported earlier this month that employers posted 9.6 million job openings in September, up from 9.5 million in August. Layoffs fell to 1.5 million from 1.7 million.

US private employers slowed their hiring in October, adding a modest but still decent 150,000 jobs.

Last month’s job growth, though down sharply from a robust 297,000 gain in September, was solid enough to suggest that many companies still want to hire and that the economy remains strong.

Dana Gerber of the Globe staff contributed to this report.