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New unemployment claims rise in U.S. after record decline last week

New unemployment claims rise in U.S. after record decline last week
A board is seen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Wall Street in New York City on Tuesday. The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless claims increased last week by about 30,000 filings. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 2 (UPI) -- A week after posting the lowest figure for unemployment filings in more than a half-century, the Labor Department said in its weekly report that there are a little more than 220,000 new jobless claims.

The department said there were 222,000 new filings last week, an increase of about 28,000. It also revised down the previous week's claims by 5,000.

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Last week, the department reported 199,000 new unemployment filings -- which was the fewest for any week since 1969. The revision means that there were actually 194,000.

Although an increase from last week's report, Thursday's figure is still well below that from the final week of the prepandemic era, which was about 256,000 in March 2020.

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Thursday's update said the new four-week moving average was about 239,000.

A sign seeks applications for new employees at the Angelico Pizzeria in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on October 14. File Photo by Sarah Silbiger/UPI

For 2021, new unemployment filings peaked in January at more than 900,000. Initial claims slowly began to decline in the weeks and months that followed, particularly as COVID-19 vaccination rates rose nationwide and businesses began to hire and keep workers.

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"We received additional evidence of the strength of America's historic economic recovery and Americans getting back to work," President Joe Biden said of the new unemployment figure.

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"Initial unemployment claims are now down more than 70% since I became president, and total claims filed each week are now down by around 16 million over that same period.

"Today's data underscore the historic progress we are making and the importance of building on that progress in the weeks ahead."

The Labor Department will release its jobs report for November on Friday. ADP and Moody's Analytics said this week that the U.S. economy added about 534,000 private-sector jobs last month, beating most expectations by about 30,000 hires.

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Most analysts expect Friday's report to show national growth of about 500,000 new jobs for the month of November.

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