The number of Americans who for Unemployment benefit last week to its lowest level since the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show that applications for the week ending November 27 rose from a revised 194,000 a week earlier to 222,000, slightly surpassing the 240,000 forecast by Refinitiv analysts.
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“While the background of uncertainty surrounding Omicron is definitely not helping the market, we are getting relatively positive news from the job front,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of E * Trade Financial.
“However, these numbers are backwards. Since the new variant only came to light last week, it remains to be seen how it could affect the workforce and our economic recovery as a whole.”
The number of pending claims, or the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, decreased to 1.956 million, down 107,000 from the previous week. This is the lowest level of insured unemployment since March 14, 2020 when it was 1.77 million.
The report shows that approximately 2.3 million Americans received unemployment benefits for the week ending November 13, an increase of 21,564 from the previous week; For comparison, just over a year ago, an estimated 20.7 million Americans were receiving benefits.
Claims have steadily declined as the economy recovers from the pandemic and Americans travel, shop, and eat. However, companies struggled to keep up with demand and reported difficulties in onboarding new employees. Thursday’s report suggests companies are making efforts to retain the workforce they already have.
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The Department of Labor reported earlier this month that there were 10.4 million vacancies at the end of September. Although little has changed since late August, it is still an astonishingly high number; There are approximately 3 million more job vacancies than unemployed Americans looking for work.