Number of Arizonans seeking unemployment benefits increased last week, reversing trend

For only the second time in the past nine weeks, initial applications for Arizona jobless benefits have increased, and the number of Arizonans seeking special federal unemployment benefits for the first time has hit its highest level yet.

The latest tallies from the Arizona Department of Economic Security cast a shadow over the strength of the local economic recovery, even as the U.S. job market got a jolt of good news last week.

DES said it received 23,037 new applications for regular unemployment benefits during the week that ended June 6. That was more than 1,000 higher than the previous week and stalled a general trend of week-to-week improvement that had extended for most of the past two months.

And new applications for a specialized type of unemployment benefits soared.

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