Not to be confused with the big monthly jobs report (the one that includes a count of "nonfarm payrolls" as well as the official unemployment rate in the US), the weekly Jobless Claims provides a combined measurement of state-level unemployment filings and presents that data every Thursday morning. Interest rates don't tend to respond nearly as much to the weekly claims data, but the past two Thursdays have been exceptions.
Both this week and last, jobless claims came in at the highest levels since late 2021. If we consider that claims were still on the way down from their post-covid explosion in 2021, it's just as fair to say that claims are the highest since 2017.
While the outright numbers aren't too troubling, investors are reacting because the data could be an early indication that other labor metrics will soon shift in a more noticeable way. In general, downbeat economic data prompts investors to buy bonds which, in turn, puts downward pressure on rates. That's exactly what has happened on the past 2 Thursday mornings.
In today's case, it was enough to take bonds from slightly weaker territory (i.e. slightly higher rates) to nicely stronger territory (i.e. moderately lower rates). After pushing the 7% boundary yesterday, the average top tier 30yr fixed rate is back into the high 6's.