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Financial News: U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Dip To 198,000

U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Dip To 198,000

12/30/2021 - 09:19:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The Labor Department released a report on Thursday unexpectedly showing a modest drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended December 25th.

The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 198,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 206,000.

The slight pullback surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 208,000 from the 205,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also slipped to 199,250, a decrease of 7,250 from the previous week's revised average of 206,500.

With the drop, the four-week moving average fell to its lowest level since hitting 199,250 in the week ended October 25, 1969.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also slid by 140,000 to 1.716 million in the week ended December 18, hitting the lowest level since March 2020.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also fell to a pandemic-era low of 1,859,500, a decrease of 59,500 from the previous week's revised average of 1,919,000.

Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for December.

Economists currently expect employment to jump by 400,000 jobs in December after climbing by 210,000 jobs in November. The unemployment rate is expected to slip to 4.1 percent from 4.2 percent.

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