Jobless claims reach 216,000, but still close to historical lows


Bloomberg / Landov News

Many companies want job hunters to join their team. The unemployment rate has recently fallen to a 48-year low and many companies complain that they can not find enough skilled workers in a tight labor market.

The numbers: The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits in mid-November rose slightly, but they remained close to record lows.

Initial applications for unemployment benefits, a difficult way to measure layoffs, rose from 2,000 to 216,000 in the seven days ending Nov. 10. That was a bit higher than the 210,000 predictions of economists surveyed by MarketWatch.

The monthly average of new orders also rose, rising from 1,500 to 215,250, the government said on Thursday.

What happened: New jobless claims totaled less than 220,000 for 19 weeks in a row, a remarkably long period of scant layoffs. They have not been so low since the early 1970s and do not seem to grow very soon.

The number of people who were already receiving unemployment benefits, meanwhile, rose for the first time in seven weeks. They rose by 46,000 to 1.68 million.

Still, these continued claims are also at the lowest level since the early 1970s.

Large picture: The job market is extremely tight – what economists say when it is difficult for businesses to find enough people to fill a large number of vacancies.

The good news is that the shortage of labor is helping workers to gain larger increases. It is also bringing people back to the workforce who have been unemployed for a long time.

However, if rising labor costs trigger higher inflation, this can also mean higher interest rates and a possible slowdown in the economy.

Read: Americans are still optimistic, despite the turmoil in the stock market, shows consumer sentiment

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average

DJIA, -0.81%

and the S & P 500

SPX, -0.76%

were set to open lower on Thursday trades. Stocks have fallen sharply since hitting a record high in early October.

10-year Treasury yield

TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.00%

fell to 3.10%, retreating from as high as 3.24% just a week ago.


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