© Reuters. A banner advertising a recruitment event in Manhattan, New York, pictured on September 3, 2021. Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest level in more than 52 years last week as labor market conditions remained difficult amid a severe labor shortage.
This came in the Labor Department’s weekly report on unemployment benefits on Thursday, which is the latest indicator of the health and resilience of the economy.
The report comes on the heels of last week’s news that the unemployment rate fell to a 21-month low in November to 4.2 percent. Data on Wednesday showed there were 11 million new jobs at the end of October and Americans are leaving their jobs at a near-record rate.
Claims for unemployment benefits fell by 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted number of 184,000 for the week ending Dec. 4, the lowest level since September 1969. Economists polled by Reuters had expected 215,000 applications to be submitted during the past week.
Claims for unemployment benefits have fallen from a record high of 6.149 million in April 2020. Claims usually increase with cooler weather, but economists say this seasonal pattern is not intact in light of the tight labor market.
(Prepared by Ali Khafaji for the Arab Newsletter – Editing by Ahmed Hassan)
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