New weekly jobless claims held below pre-pandemic levels last week, further underscoring still solid demand for labor heading into the new year.
According to the data provided by the labor department initial jobless claims for the week ended on December 18 stood at 205,000 vs 205,000 expected and a downward revision of prior week data to 205,000.
Continuing claims for the week ended on December 11 stood at 1.859 million vs. 1.835 million expected and also last week number saw an upward revision to 1.867 million.
“The claims data indicate strong demand for workers and a reluctance by businesses to lay off workers,” Rubeela Farooqi, chief economist for High Frequency Economics, wrote in a note. “However, disruptions around Omicron and Delta could be a headwind if businesses have to close for health-related reasons.”
“Overall, the direction in the labor market recovery remains positive, with demand still strong,” she added. “Labor shortages are persisting, preventing a stronger recovery, although these appeared to ease somewhat in November.”.