U.S. Jobless Claims Little Changed Last Week at Still-Low Level
(Bloomberg) -- Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits were little changed last week, suggesting historically low layoffs as the labor market continues to recover.
Initial unemployment claims totaled 205,000 in the week ended Dec. 18, unchanged from the prior period, Labor Department data showed Thursday. Economists had expected 205,000 applications, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey.
Continuing claims for state benefits dropped to 1.86 million in the week ended Dec. 11.
The report underscores the low levels of job losses seen in recent months as employers focus on attracting and retaining workers to keep pace with consumer demand. The level of applications is generally consistent with pre-pandemic levels, a reflection of the tight U.S. labor market.
Claims have been dropping as the job market improves, and even more so in recent weeks due in part to some choppiness in adjusting the raw data during the holiday season. Applications hit a 52-year low of 188,000 in the week ending Dec. 4.
Still, rising Covid-19 cases amid the spread of the omicron variant pose risks to the hiring outlook.
On an unadjusted basis, claims decreased to 254,006.
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