Weekly jobless claims total 206,000, rising above pandemic low

Weekly jobless claims total 206,000, rising above pandemic low

Jobless claims were higher than expected last week after previously hitting their lowest level since 1969, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Initial filings for unemployment insurance for the week ended Dec. 11 totaled 206,000, above the 195,000 Dow Jones estimate and a gain of 18,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 188,000.

Though the weekly claims total rose, the four-week moving average, which levels out volatility in the numbers, totaled 203,750, the lowest level since Nov. 15, 1969, according to government figures.

Both numbers are much more in keeping with the pre-pandemic environment rather than the outsized numbers shown since layoffs exploded in March 2020, the early days of the Covid-19 outbreak. Weekly claims peaked at 6.15 million in April 2020 and remained above 300,000 before finally dipping below that number in early October.

Continuing claims, data for which runs a week behind the headline number, declined 154,000 to 1.845 million, the lowest since March 14, 2020.

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