Jobless claims plunge to 184,000, lowest level since 1969
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The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week tumbled to the lowest level in more than half a century, the latest sign the labor market is bouncing back from the coronavirus pandemic.
Figures released Thursday by the Labor Department show that applications for the week ended Dec. 4 dropped to 184,000 from an upwardly revised 227,000 a week earlier, easily beating the 220,000 forecast by Refinitiv analysts. It marked the lowest level for jobless claims since Sept. 6, 1969, when it was 182,000.
Continuing claims, or the number of Americans who are consecutively receiving unemployment aid, fell to 1.992 million for the week ended Nov. 27, an increase of 38,000 from the previous week.
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The report shows that roughly 1.947 million Americans were collecting jobless benefits for the week ending Nov. 20, a decrease of 350,527 from the previous week; by comparison, just a little over one year ago, an estimated 19.57 million Americans were receiving benefits.
One reason for the larger-than-expected dip is the difficulty in adjusting the raw data for seasonal modifications around the holidays: On an unadjusted basis, initial claims actually climbed by about 64,000 to 280,665.