Jobless claims dip to pandemic low of 268,000 as labor shortage forces businesses to avert layoffs

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Number: The number of people applying for unemployment benefits fell for the seventh consecutive week in mid-November and is headed for the pre-pandemic side due to the biggest labor shortage in decades.

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New filings for jobless benefits slipped from 1,000 to 268,000 in the seven days ending November 13, Government said on Thursday,

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Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal estimated that initial jobless claims would total 260,000 seasonally adjusted.

Unemployment rates are rising to pre-crisis lows when they were at a low of 200,000. His total at the beginning of the year was 900,000 per week.

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Due to labor shortage, companies are laying off workers only as a last resort. There are some 10 million plus jobs available and businesses can’t fill a lot of them.

‘There’s a huge labor shortage in my business,’ the owner tells Congress

big picture: The economy has picked up since the delta-related fall at the end of the summer, but it may not grow fast enough until a lot more people go back to work. Some companies have had to reduce production or business hours because they do not have enough employees.

The labor shortage is unlikely to ease quickly, however, with the coronavirus prevalent especially in the Northeast and Midwest. Millions are still reluctant to return to work or may have left the labor force permanently.

US retail sales up 1.7%, but high inflation plays a role

Main details: Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and Ohio saw the most jobless claims declines last week, all among states with large auto-producing industries.

Car makers have had to temporarily close some plants due to shortage of parts and idle workers. These workers may be eligible for jobless benefits when they are not working.

California was the only state to have a large increase in unemployment claims. There was little change in the new unemployment filings in most other states.

Meanwhile, the number of people already receiving the state’s jobless benefits fell from 129,000 to 2.08 million. These so-called persistent claims are also at the bottom of the epidemic.

In all, as of October 30, there were reportedly 3.18 million people receiving jobless benefits through state or federal programs. This marks a sharp increase from 2.56 million in the previous week.

Most of the gains came from California processing the claims backlog earlier in the year.

Before the pandemic just under 2 million people were collecting unemployment benefits.

What are they saying? “Claims still have some way to go before they reach pre-pandemic levels, but we are on our way out,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James.

Market Feedback: Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.19%
fell slightly, but the S&P 500 SPX,
-0.04%
Rose in early trading on Thursday. Stock prices have reached record highs.

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