Applications for US state unemployment benefits decreased last week, indicating still-solid labor demand despite the recent wave of COVID-19 infections.
- Initial unemployment claims amounted to 198,000 in the week ended December 25, falling 8,000 from the prior week’s revised figure. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg estimated the claims to be nearly 206,000.
- Continuing claims for state benefits dropped to 1.72 million in the week ended December 18, the lowest level since March of last year.
- Labor crunch across the economy has made businesses reluctant to reduce staffing as they strain to meet the rapid demand for goods and services.
- The initial weekly applications are broadly in line with the pre-pandemic levels. The Omicron variant might limit business and social activity.
- On an unadjusted basis, claims climbed slightly to 256,146 last week. California, Texas, and Virginia were states with the biggest decreases in unadjusted claims.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania posted the largest increases in the applications.
DXY up +0.19%, EUR USD down -0.25%Source: Bloomberg