Fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week after three straight increases amid rising cases of omicron variant of Covid-19.
- Jobless claims dropped by 30,000 to 260,000 last week. Fewer than the 265,000 analysts were projecting.
- The four-week average of claims, which indicates weekly volatility, increased by 15,000 to 247,000, the highest in two months.
- In total, almost 1.7 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended January 15, a marginal increase of 51,000 from the prior week.
- Jobless claims, an indicator for layoffs, had dropped mostly steady for nearly a year and late last year dropped below the pre-pandemic average of nearly 220,00 per week.
The job market has recovered from last year’s plunge driven by the intense COVID-19 pandemic, and companies are struggling to retain and hire workers, despite the recent surge in jobless claims.
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Source: US Department of Labor