New unemployment claims in the United States fell to a 52-year low last week. According to the Wall Street Journal, they are below average pre-epidemic and are a “milestone in the recovery of the labor market.”
Number of new requests The number for the week ending November 20 was 199,000. “Since November 15, 1969, the number of applications has not been recorded since 197,000.” The latest figures from the Labor Department are also below last week’s estimates of between 260,000 and 270,000.
“Claims are going in the right direction and send a positive signal about the labor market”, Says Rubila Farooqi, an economist at the WSJ. “Companies are reluctant to lay off employees amid a severe labor shortage.”
Others are more cautious. Economist Lou Grantal believes that the “bigger decline than expected” is due to “the government adjusting its unfiltered data to seasonal fluctuations”.
“It’s totally seasonal. A lot of that will change next week,” Grantall said. The Department of Labor’s monthly jobs report, released next week, should shed more light on the complex dynamics of the labor market.
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