WASHINGTON DC: As per the Labor Department figures, first jobless claims reached 206,000 in the week ending December 11, up 18,000 from the previous week.
As the labour market continues to rebound, applications for state unemployment benefits in the United States increased last week but remained near the pandemic’s lowest levels.
According to Labor Department data released Thursday, first jobless claims totalled 206,000 in the week ending December 11, up 18,000 from the previous week. According to the median forecast of economists polled by Bloomberg, the number of applications will rise to 200,000.
In the week ending Dec. 4, continuing claims for state assistance fell to 1.85 million, a new epidemic low.
The increase in applications is a minor improvement over the previous period’s 52-year low, yet the overall level of claims still indicates a rebounding job market. Firms have been hesitant to fire employees as they try to meet strong demand for goods and services despite significant labour shortages.
In recent weeks, claims data has been choppy, owing to difficulties in correcting raw data for seasonal effects during the holiday season. Nonetheless, economists believe that the labour market is extremely tight, and job applications are roughly comparable to pre-pandemic levels.
However, an increase in Covid-19 hospitalizations in many states, as well as persisting concerns over the new omicron version, threaten to stymie recruiting in the new year.
The Federal Reserve chose to accelerate the pace at which it reduces its asset purchases on Wednesday, citing increasing inflation and an improving labour market. Chairman Jerome Powell stated that the economy has not yet reached full employment, and that participation may be limited for some years.
A separate data released on Thursday revealed that home construction starts in the United States increased to their highest level in eight months in November, indicating that builders are making progress on backlogs despite continuing supply and labour shortages.