Weekly jobless claims total 199,000, the lowest mark recorded since 1969

The Department of Labor said last week’s jobless claims totaled 199,000, which is lower than any week in the last 52 years.

On Wednesday, the DOL reported its new jobless claims for the previous week. The numbers are usually released on Thursday but due to Thanksgiving, it was pushed forward one day. Economists predicted the number of claims would be around 260,000, but they were off by 61,000.

In the week ending on November 15, 1969, the jobless claims were at 197,000. Since then, they have only gone up, fluctuating up and down, but never reaching that low since. Before the pandemic, the number was 225,000.

Additionally, the DOL reported that it had 2.049 million continuing claims, which was higher than the 2.033 million expected. The prior week’s number was revised to 2.109 million. The department didn’t mention any factors that went into the new numbers. The data will be revised next week. That, along with the following week’s data, will show if the numbers truly fell that low or if it was fluke.

Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate, commented on the numbers. “It is fair to say that we didn’t see that coming,” he wrote in an email on Wednesday. “Getting new claims below the 200,000 level for the first time since the pandemic began is truly significant, portraying further improvement.” 




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