Weekly Jobless Claims Drop To 52-Year Low And Hit 198,000

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Weekly jobless claims in the U.S. totaled 198,000 for the week ended December 25, the lowest in 52 years, according to the Labor Department. This is below Dow Jones’ forecast of 205,000 and 8,000 fewer than the period before.

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Weekly Jobless Claims

CNBC reports that “When adjusting for weekly volatility, the four-week moving average for claims came to 199,250, the lowest level since Oct. 25, 1969.”

Meanwhile, continuing claims followed a similar trend after plunging by 140,000 to 1.72 million, and hitting a new low since March 7 last year —days before the pandemic was declared in the country. The statistics depict a tight labor market.

The drop also arrives at a time when the Federal Reserve is easing off on its benefitting policies that have helped palliate the pandemic. The unemployment rate in the U.S. has been cut to 4.2% from 14.8% in April 2020, which represented a peak.

However —amid the dropping new claims— the number of people receiving benefits across all governmental programs climbed by 40,000 to 2.18 million when looking at statistics through December 11.

“Large Accomplishment”

The regression of some weekly jobless claims is concurrent with the cessation of benefits as the government called off the programs that “provided enhanced and extended payments.”

“Still, the total getting benefits is a far cry from where it was a year ago when 20.5 million were on the various programs,” CNBC reports.

The U.S. job market has also been plagued with record job turnover in what has been deemed as the Great Resignation. Better professional prospects and salary have been the main drivers amid strong inflationary pressure.

According to the Labor Department, in October, the job market saw almost 11.03 million job openings from 10.6 million in September, while “By comparison, there were about 7.4 million unemployed workers that month —meaning there are nearly 4 million more available jobs than there are workers.”

Rick Santelli of CNBC said that looking at February 2020, the range from that entire month of continuing claims was 1.705 million to 1.730 million, and added “This puts us in the same zip code as pre-covid —and that is a rather large accomplishment.”

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