Jobless Claims Remain Relatively Unchanged Indicating A Tightening Labor Market

Jobless Claims Drop By 71,000, Far Exceeding Experts’ Projections

Harry Wilmerding

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 199,000 in the week ending on Nov. 20, reaching its lowest level in over 52 years.

The Labor Department figure shows a 71,000 claim decrease compared to the number of new claims filed in the week ending on Nov. 13, when jobless claims dropped to a revised 270,000. Wednesday’s report crushed the Dow Jones estimate of 260,000, CNBC reported.

The dip in claims highlights the growing demand for labor, Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High-Frequency Economics, told The Wall Street Journal.

While a record 4.4 million people quit their jobs in September, job openings remained at a 10.4 million high as of mid-November, also signaling a strengthening labor market.

“Claims have been moving in the right direction and are sending a positive signal about the labor market. Businesses are wary of letting go of workers amid a severe labor shortage,” Farooqi said.

The U.S. economy added 531,000 jobs in October as the unemployment rate dropped 0.2% to 4.6% from the previous month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Nov. 5.

While the labor market continues to improve, inflation has surged to its highest level in 30 years, with the consumer price index growing 0.9% in October from the previous month to 6.2% on a yearly basis.

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