Jobless Claims Top 800,000 For Third Straight Week

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New weekly jobless claims fell by 89,000 to 803,000 in the week that ended December 19, the Department of Labor said Wednesday.

The prior week’s initial claims number was revised up to 892,000 from the initial estimate of 885,000.

Economists had forecast a decline in claims to 875,000, according to Econoday.

Jobless claims can be volatile week to week so many economists prefer to look at the four-week average. This rose to 818,250, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level.

Jobless claims—which are a proxy for layoffs—remain at extremely high levels. Prior to the pandemic, the highest level of claims was 695,000 hit in October of 1982. In March of 2009, at the depths of the financial crisis recession, jobless claims peaked at 665,000.

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