Unemployment claims in the United States plunge to their lowest level since 1969

Status requests unemployment benefits has plunged to levels not seen since 1969 according to the latest figures from the US Department of Labor.

In the week ending November 20, the anticipated number for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 199,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the revised level of the previous week.

This not only marks a return to the pre-Covid-19 pandemic claims, but it is also the lowest level of initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000.

A Bloomberg survey of economists produced a median estimate of 260,000 claims.

However, seasonal adjustments around the Thanksgiving holiday contributed significantly to the larger-than-expected drop. The unadjusted figures show that claims actually increased from over 18,000 to almost 259,000.

The four-week claims average, which eases weekly highs and lows, also fell – from 21,000 to just over 252,000, the lowest since mid-March 2020, when the pandemic hit the economy .

Since it exceeded 900,000 in early January, the number of requests has steadily dropped and is now below its pre-pandemic level of around 220,000 per week. Applications for unemployment assistance are an indicator of layoffs.

A total of 2 million Americans collected traditional unemployment checks in the week ending Nov. 13, down slightly from the week before.

If claims remain at pre-pandemic levels, it would likely increase the chances that Federal Reserve officials will accelerate cuts in bond purchases and consider raising interest rates soon after these end. purchases in 2022.

The data follows reports showing the fastest inflation in three decades and a pickup in job creation in October, which added to calls to speed up the process.

While the labor market has made a remarkable comeback since the early spring 2020 closures, many Americans have kept many Americans in their homes as a health precaution. In March and April of the same year, employers cut more than 22 million jobs.

Including federal programs, the number of Americans receiving some form of unemployment assistance peaked at more than 33 million in June 2020.

The federal government withdrew the additional $ 300 per week support for state unemployment insurance programs in early September.

While the month of October works report showed that the payroll increased by 531,000, and economists predict that another 575,000 will be added in November, with millions of Americans still choosing not to return to work.

There have been 18 million new hires since the start of the pandemic, but the United States still lacks 4 million jobs compared to February 2020 number.

Frustrated employers, faced with increasing consumer demand, are desperate to fill positions and continue to offer more flexible incentives and work arrangements to try to get people back to work.

Workers, who find themselves with bargaining power for the first time in decades, are becoming more demanding when it comes to jobs.

There was a near-record 10.4 million job postings in September and a record 4.4 million people quit in the same month, continuing the “Great resignation“Trend at levels that have continued since April.

New hiring figures for November are due on December 3 and will reveal whether people are returning to work, whether employers’ tactics are working, or whether the slight increase in Covid cases in recent weeks is keeping people home again.

With reporting from The Associated Press

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