Claims for US unemployment compensation for the first time remained at a low last week as employers kept their workers and searched for more as the United States continues its economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
The Labor Department said Thursday that 222,000 unemployed workers claimed unemployment compensation for the first time, up 28,000 from a revised figure of 194,000 the week before, a 52-year low.
Even with the increase in claims last week, figures for the past two weeks were well below the total of 256,000 in mid-March 2020, when the pandemic first hit the country and employers began laying off hundreds of thousands of workers.
The dwindling number of unemployment benefit claims shows that many employers are hanging on to their employees, even as millions have left jobs to move to other companies offering higher salaries and more benefits.
Many employers are looking for more workers, even as there are approximately 7.4 million workers unemployed in the United States.
There are 10.4 million available jobs in the country, but the skills of the available workers often do not match what employers want, or the job openings are not where the unemployed remain. In addition, many of the available jobs are low-paying service positions for those who are unemployed.
US employers added 531,000 jobs in October, the biggest monthly benefit in three months, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%. But the US economy still lacks more than four million jobs since February 2020. November’s jobs data is scheduled to be released on Friday.
American economic progress is happening even as President Joe Biden and Washington policymakers, along with consumers, have voiced concerns about the biggest increase in consumer prices in three decades and supply chain issues that have left some products on retail store shelves. delivery has been reduced.