Nov 24, 2021 - Economy & Business

Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest level since 1969

Picture of a sign that says "Now Hiring"
Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Approximately 199,000 Americans filed initial claims for unemployment insurance‌ last‌ week, a 71,000 decrease from the week before.

Why it matters: The Labor Department said Wednesday it was the lowest level of initial claims since Nov. 15, 1969, when claims reached 197,000.

  • This same time last year, unemployment claims were around 700,000, per the Labor Department.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Felix Salmon: Employers are so desperate for employees that layoffs are all but nonexistent. While America still has very little in the way of long-term job security, it currently offers unprecedented levels of short-term job security.

What they're saying: "Last year, there were 21 million unemployment insurance claims before the Thanksgiving holiday. Today, there were 2.4 million. This is a historic jobs recovery: 5.6 million jobs created since I took office and an unemployment rate of 4.6% — two full years earlier than experts predicted was possible," President Biden said in a statement.

  • "Today’s data reinforce the historic economic progress we are making and the importance of building on that progress in the weeks ahead."

Between the lines: Biden added that there's "more work to do before our economy is back to normal, including addressing prices increases that hurt Americans’ pocketbooks and undermine gains in wages and disposable income."

  • The president on Tuesday directed the Energy Department to release 50 million barrels of oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to help lower fuel prices.
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