At 184,000 claims, adjusted for seasonal swings, it was the lowest level of initial claims since September 1969, when the figure stood at 182,000.
It was also a lower count than economists had predicted. It’s further proof that America’s jobs recovery is pushing ahead this winter, with employers vying for staff and workers having plenty of jobs to choose from. Companies are still have a hard time keeping up with the buoyant demand for goods and services, not least because they are struggling to find workers.
Meanwhile, 1.9 million Americans were receiving benefits under the various government program in the week ended November 20, accounted for mostly by regular state unemployment aid.
But according to Thursday’s Labor Department figures, claims actually rose by more than 60,000 to a total of 280,665 last week without the seasonal adjustments.
“Usually, it is not really worth discussing seasonals as the adjustment process is usually well calibrated and does a good job smoothing out the expected wiggles,” said Jefferies Money Market Economist Thomas Simons in a note to clients.
In spite of the volatility, Englund thinks the claims data suggest a strong jobs gain in December.