News US Economy News Unemployment Claims Edge Upward, But Remain Low What Thursday’s Economic Reports Tell Us By Taylor Tompkins Taylor Tompkins Twitter Website Taylor Tompkins has worked for more than a decade as a journalist covering business, finance, and the economy. She has logged thousands of hours interviewing experts, analyzing data, and writing articles to help readers understand economic forces. She joined The Balance in 2022 as its Economics Editor. learn about our editorial policies and Diccon Hyatt Diccon Hyatt Diccon Hyatt has written hundreds of articles about how public policy and the economy intersect with personal finance, tracking all the latest dynamics affecting your money. Before joining The Balance, he covered business and community news for 17 years, including Princeton, New Jersey's high-tech Route 1 Corridor. learn about our editorial policies Updated on June 12, 2022 Fact checked by Glenn Hunter Fact checked by Glenn Hunter Glenn Hunter has written or edited thousands of articles over four decades, including on the savings and loan and subprime mortgage crises. Before bringing topics like tax policy and mortgage trends to life at The Balance, he edited for the Dallas Business Journal and freelanced for Fortune and the Los Angeles Times. learn about our editorial policies Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images New unemployment claims rose to the highest level for any week since January, and household net worth dropped for the first time since the initial crush of COVID-19, reports showed Thursday. Here’s a quick look at the most significant economic indicators of the day and what they tell us. Initial Jobless Claims Last week 229,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits, 27,000 more than in the previous week and the most since January, according to the Department of Labor. Economists had expected 195,000. While weekly claims are still quite low relatively speaking—in the range seen before the pandemic—economists cautioned that a recent upward drift could be a sign of increasing layoffs. “The labor market remains in solid shape in the spring quarter but the rise in initial claims since early April is a cool breeze blowing at the hot labor market,” PNC Senior Economic Advisor Stuart Hoffman said in a commentary. Household Net Worth The net worth of households and nonprofit organizations in the U.S. fell very slightly in the first quarter, dropping to $149.3 trillion, and marking the first decline since the pandemic struck, the Federal Reserve reported. Net worth measures assets minus liabilities, and the 0.4% dip stemmed from a decline in financial assets and an increase in household debt. Stocks have taken a beating this year, and a $3 trillion decline in stock assets outweighed a $1.7 trillion jump in real estate values spurred along by soaring home prices. The increase in household debt was driven by households boosting their credit card spending and taking on more mortgage debt to pay for those increasingly expensive homes, according to economists at Moody’s Analytics. Have a question, comment, or story to share? You can reach Taylor at email@example.com or Diccon at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning! Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources The Balance uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Department of Labor. “News Release.” MarketWatch. “US Economic Calendar.” Federal Reserve. “Z.1 Financial Accounts of the United States.” Page 3. FRED Economic Data. “Households and Nonprofit Organizations; Net Worth, Level."