The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims totaled 206,000 in the week ending Dec. 11 as the tight labor market continues to recover, though it remains far from pre-pandemic levels.

Jobless Claims Remain Relatively Unchanged Indicating A Tightening Labor Market

Harry Wilmerding 

The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims dropped to 268,000 in the week ending Nov. 13 indicating a tightening labor market as employers seek to avoid layoffs or labor shortages entering the holiday season, the Department of Labor announced Thursday.

The Labor Department figure shows a 1,000 claim decrease compared to the week ending Nov 6, when jobless claims dropped to a revised 269,000. The Dow Jones estimated 260,000 new jobless claims for the week ending Nov. 13, CNBC reported.

The drop in claims shows strong demand for workers, experts told The Wall Street Journal. Job openings remain near historic highs while businesses continue to say they can’t find workers.

record 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in September and job openings hovered around its 10.4 million high, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

“Initial claims should continue to gradually work their way back toward pre-pandemic levels as employers facing shortages of workers will likely keep layoffs to a minimum,” Nancy Vanden Houten, lead economist at Oxford Economics, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Workers feel more comfortable leaving their current jobs seeking better pay and benefits while remote technology has allowed for a faster interview process, Evan Sohn, chief executive at, told the WSJ.

“This job-hopper economy is not going backward,” Sohn said. “We’re not going to go back to seeing people at a company for 25 years again.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy recorded an increase of 531,000 jobs in October and unemployment fell by 0.2%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Nov.5. The number of unemployed people dropped to 7.4 million, down from 7.7 million in September.

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