The number of Americans filing new jobless claims last week increased less than expected, indicating labor market conditions are improving, as layoffs hit a 28-and-a-half-year low in November.
And the weekly report on jobless claims released by the U.S. Department of Labor, which is one of the most reliable data on the health of the economy, showed that continuing claims fell below two million for the first time since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States about two years ago.
This positive labor market news comes on top of solid consumption and manufacturing data, which indicate that the economy has started to accelerate again after facing some hurdles in the third quarter. But the spread of the Omicron strain of the Corona virus threatens the disappearance of that bright picture.
The Department of Labor said Thursday that the prime Government jobless claims increased by 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 222,000 for the week ending November 27. Unemployment claims in the United States dropped to 194,000 in the preceding week, the lowest level since 1969.
And that data tends to be volatile in this time of year.
Experts interviewed by Reuters had predicted 240,000 complaints last week.
Orders dropped off a peak record of 6.149 million at the beginning of April 2020.
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