Weekly Jobless Claims Come in Lower Than Expected
Jobless claims had started to tick back up as cases of COVID-19 surged but seem to be slowing down as we go into the new year.
On Thursday, the Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims fell by 19,000 for the week ending December 26, for a total of 787,000. Economists polled by Dow Jones forecasted a rise to 828,000.
Continuing claims, for those who have received unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, fell by 103,000 to 5.219 million for the week ending December 19. Individuals receiving any type of unemployment benefit fell by 800,000 to 19.6 million.
“There is no real improvement in the data,” John Ryding, an economic advisor at Brean Capital, said. “What we’re seeing is a very difficult time in the economy with the virus pickup that we have seen and the slow rollout of the vaccination.”
The US has been reporting more than 180,000 new cases of COVID-19 daily.
“There is good news ahead, but you can’t see it in these numbers,” said Ryding. “That good news is going to come at the point where there are enough [vaccine] shots in people’s arms and we approach something like herd immunity. That’s not going to be, unfortunately, until the summer.”