The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose by 22,000 to 264,000 in the week ended May 6, the Labor Department said Thursday.  That’s the highest level since October 2021.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise 3,000 to 245,000. Last week claims rose 13,000 to 242,000.

Key details: The four-week moving average of claims rose 6,000 to 245,250. That’s the highest level since November 2021.

In the week ended April 21, the number of people already collecting jobless benefits rose by 12,000 to 1.81 million in the week ended April 29.

On an unadjusted basis, claims rose 13,969 to 234,084 in the latest week.

Big picture: The trend in jobless claims has been rising since the end of January.

That’s good news for Federal Reserve officials, who want to see some more slack in the labor market to cool down wage gains. But not good news for the 245,250 workers who lost their job.