Friday, January 28, 2022

US jobless claims jump to 230K during Omicron surge

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The number of U.S. workers filing unemployment claims rose this week as employers struggled with the growth of the Omicron option, according to weekly data on unemployment claims released on Thursday.

Data released by the Department of Labor showed 230,000 initial unemployment claims for the week ending Jan. 8. That figure exceeded 207,000 claims last week.

The number of unemployment claims was higher than expected and rose to its highest level since November.

Economists estimated 200,000 initial unemployment claims during the week.

The four-week moving average of unemployment claims was 210,750, up from 6,450 last week’s average of 204,500. The moving average shows the variability in weekly numbers.

An estimated 1.56 million Americans were claiming unemployment benefits in the week ending Jan. 1. This is a decrease of 194,000 compared to the previous week.

The weekly unemployment claims report is an indicator of the number of layoffs in the U.S. economy. As employers compete for talent in a tight labor market, layoffs have slowed in recent months and reached their lowest level in decades.

The increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron variant has led to staff shortages as more employees are called sick.

A recent record increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the Omicron option for employers could lead to staff shortages. Businesses in a variety of industries, including airlines and the food industry, have seen an increase in the number of employees calling in sick.

“Unfortunately, the Omicron COVID wave has added new interruptions to the supply chain and the availability of workers, many of whom are ill, have passed a positive test or are unable or unwilling to go to work for other reasons,” he said. said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com. he said.

In December, the U.S. economy added only 199,000 jobs, but while expectations were not met, the unemployment rate fell to just 3.9% – close to what the Federal Reserve considered maximum employment.

Job fair.
Workers in low-income sectors left their roles in search of better wages and benefits.

In November, employers registered 10.6 million jobs, according to the Department of Labor. Meanwhile, a record 4.5 million workers have left their jobs as part of an ongoing trend called the “Great Retirement”.

Earlier this week, a member of the White House National Economic Council said the “Great Retirement” was in fact a “Great Renewal” as workers in low-income sectors left the roles in search of better wages and benefits.

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