Number: The number of people applying for unemployment benefits jumped from 28,000 to 222,000 around Thanksgiving, partly reversing a huge drop in the past week that pushed new jobless claims to a 52-year low.
However, the major fluctuations in the past two weeks are linked to the timing of Thanksgiving. The government’s process of adjusting jobless claims to account for changes in seasonal employment patterns sometimes produces unusual results around the holidays.
Nevertheless, the raw or actual number of new jobless claims also saw a sharp decline. They totaled only 211,896 last week versus 253,518 two weeks ago.
In any case, jobless claims are extremely low and are expected to fall towards crisis levels in the coming months. New filings for unemployment benefits were less than 200,000 before the viral outbreak.
Companies are laying off record-low numbers of workers in response to the worst labor shortage in decades. Unless as a last resort, they do not want to create open positions that they may not be able to fill.
big picture: Most companies are willing to hire to fill an almost record number of open jobs. But it is likely to slow down until more people rejoin the labor force.
Big business is making last attempt to halt Biden tax hike
Many people are afraid to go back to work, economists say, because they still fear the coronavirus or worry about schools reopening and being home with their children. The Omicron version of the coronavirus may be fueling their anger.
An unusually large number of people also retired during the pandemic.
Companies have responded by offering more money to lure workers and wages are rising at the fastest rate in years, but that’s not enough to ease the labor crisis.
‘There’s a huge labor shortage in my business,’ the owner tells Congress
Market Feedback: Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
and S&P 500 SPX,
Were set to open higher in Thursday’s trading. The stock has fallen from record highs on Omicron and high US inflation concerns.