Jobless Claims Drop Back to 225K

Roy Maurer By Roy Maurer December 1, 2022
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​States reported that 225,000 workers filed for new unemployment benefits during the week ending Nov. 26, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week's revised level. Jobless claims were at a three-month high last week amid rising layoffs in the technology sector, but still within what is considered normal as the labor market remains tight. The number of workers continuing to claim unemployment benefits—1.6 million—has been steadily rising through the year but is still below the pre-pandemic average of 1.7 million.

Layoffs in the technology sector continue to accumulate, with over 45,000 cuts announced in November, though it may be too early for claims to show up in the data. Those affected workers also may have already found new jobs, as technology job openings remain well above their pre-pandemic level.

Companies in interest-rate sensitive sectors like housing and finance are also letting workers go, but widespread layoffs are not happening, according to economists. Instead, most employers are hanging on to workers after experiencing labor shortages since the pandemic. There are still nearly two job openings for every unemployed person.

On Friday, the Department of Labor will report on how many jobs the U.S. economy added in November, the unemployment rate and wage gains for the month.

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