Initial jobless claims unexpectedly surged last week, climbing by 10,000 to 293,000.
Economists had estimated that claims totaled 278,000, but the number of first-time filings for unemployment insurance rose to the highest level since last July.
The prior period’s number was revised down by 1,000 to 283,000.
Ian Shepherdson at Pantheon Macroeconomics wrote to clients that the jump in claims reflected massive layoffs from temp holiday jobs, and this seasonal glitch could persist for a while.
The four-week moving average of claims, which accounts for weekly fluctuations, jumped 6,500 to 285,000.
It’s the same week in which the Bureau of Labour Statistics conducted its establishment survey for the jobs report, suggesting that “we could see a bit of a normalization in the recently outsized gains in payrolls,” according to BNP Paribas’ Derek Lindsey.