US weekly jobless claims fall; labor market still tight

Source: Reuters

“The number of Americans filing new claims for jobs benefits fell more than expected last week, with applications in Massachusetts decreasing sharply, suggesting the labor market remains tight. The steep decline in weekly unemployment claims reported by the Labor Department on Thursday reversed the surge in the prior week, which had boosted them to the highest level since Oct. 30, 2021. That increase was largely blamed on an unusual jump in applications for unemployment insurance in Massachusetts. The state’s Department of Unemployment Assistance said last week it was ‘experiencing an increase in fraudulent claim activities in which people attempted to gain access to active UI accounts or file new UI claims using stolen personal information so they can fraudulently obtain unemployment benefits.'” (05/18/23)