Share
News

New Jobless Claims Surge to Above Pre-Pandemic Levels

Share

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since mid-November.

U.S. jobless claims climbed by 23,000 last week to 230,000, the Department of Labor said Thursday.

The four-week moving average, which smooths out week-to-week blips, rose nearly 6,300 to almost 211,000.

The weekly applications, a proxy for layoffs, have risen in four of the last five weeks, a period that runs in tandem with the spread of the omicron variant.

The jobs market had bounced back strongly from last year’s coronavirus recession. Jobless claims had fallen mostly steadily for about a year, and they dipped below the pre-pandemic average — around 220,000 a week.

Trending:
Top German Admiral Resigns After Revealing True Thoughts on Putin

“The rise in claims likely reflects an increase in layoffs due to the surge in COVID cases,” economists Nancy Vanden Houten and Kathy Bostjancic of Oxford Economics said. “Claims may remain elevated in the near term, but we expect initial claims will gravitate back to the 200,000 level once the omicron wave passes. Encouragingly, there are indications that cases from the omicron variant are peaking.”

Altogether, 1.6 million people were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Jan. 1.

Companies are holding onto workers at a time when it’s difficult to find replacements. Employers posted 10.6 million job openings in November, the fifth-highest monthly total in records going back to 2000. A record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November — a sign that they are confident enough to look and find something better.

The job market has bounced back from 2020’s brief but intense coronavirus recession. When COVID hit, governments ordered lockdowns, consumers hunkered down at home and many businesses closed or cut back hours. Employers slashed millions of jobs in March and April 2020, and the unemployment rate rocketed to 14.7%.

But massive government spending — and eventually the rollout of vaccines — brought the economy back. Last year, employers added a record 6.4 million jobs, but that still was not enough to make up for the unprecedented 9.4 million jobs lost in 2020. And hiring slowed in November and December 2021 as employers struggled to fill job openings.

Related:
Biden's America: A Record Number of Americans Just Quit Their Jobs

Still, the unemployment rate fell last month to a pandemic low 3.9%.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation