A few states in the South and Midwest saw an unexpected spike in unemployment claims for the first time since mid-January.
Although claims largely declined across the country, Kentucky, Missouri, and Ohio all saw an increase in unemployment claims.
According to the U.S. Labor Department data, claims grew by 23,000 during the week ending on February 12, coming to a total of 248,000.
According to a survey of economists, the median estimate was 218,000 applicants.
However, this surge in claims could indicate volatility in data and could just reflect a temporary spike.
Over the last three weeks, unemployment claims have tumbled as people reenter the workforce following mass unemployment driven by the pandemic and the recent Omicron variant.
However, companies eager to bring in new employees are grappling with the newfound power shift in the labor market.
Workers want more from their employers, such as increased pay, better health benefits, and flexible work arrangements, and without these perks, they are likely to find work elsewhere.