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US Jobless Claims Drop to Four Week Low at End of 2019

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Filings for unemployment benefits across the United States dropped to a four-week low at the end of last year. Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 222,000 in the week ended Dec. 28, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday. Photo Credit: Forbes

Filings for unemployment benefits across the United States dropped to a four-week low at the end of last year. Jobless claims fell by 2,000 to 222,000 in the week ended Dec. 28, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday.

By Tom Roberts

“The third straight drop in filings underscores recent signs of strength in the labor market. Companies may be less likely to let employees go amid an elevated level of job openings and difficulty attracting talented and experienced personnel,” according to Crain’s New York Business.

“The 4-week moving average was 233,250, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 27, 2018 when it was 235,750. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 228,000 to 228,500,” the Labor Department said.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending December 21, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 21 was 1,728,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 4,000 from 1,719,000 to 1,723,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,711,750, an increase of 7,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,000 from 1,703,500 to 1,704,500.”

The news comes as little surprise given the strength of the Trump economy. The administration’s pro-growth policies have led to an economic boom that is lifting up Americans of all backgrounds.

Since Trump’s election, more than 7 million jobs have been added to the economy. For the first time on record there are more job openings than unemployed Americans. There are more than 7 million job openings, outnumbering job seekers by more than 1 million. Nearly two-thirds of Americans rate now as a good time to find a quality job, empowering more Americans with rewarding careers. In 2019, the unemployment rate reached its lowest level in half a century. The unemployment rate has remained at or below 4 percent for the past 21 months. The unemployment rate for women reached its lowest rate in 65 years.

“A separate report Thursday showed U.S. employers last month announced the fewest job cuts since July 2018 as the labor market remained tight. Job cuts totaled 32,843 in December, down 26% from November and 25% lower than a year earlier, according to staffing firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc.,” Crain’s added.

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