US initial jobless claims drop to lowest level in decades

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An employee works at a grocery store in Washington, D.C., the United States, on Nov. 10, 2021. [Photo/Xinhua]

Initial jobless claims in the United States last week fell to 184,000, marking the lowest level in more than 50 years, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday.

In the week ending Dec. 4, the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits dropped by 43,000 from the previous week's upwardly revised level of 227,000, according to a report released by the department's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The latest figure was the lowest since Sept. 6, 1969, when it was 182,000, the report noted.

The four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, decreased by 21,250 to 218,750, according to the report.

The latest jobless claims report also showed that the number of people continuing to collect regular state unemployment benefits in the week ending Nov. 27 increased by 38,000 to 1.99 million. That number peaked in April and May last year, when it was over 20 million.

According to data released by the Labor Department last week, the U.S. economy added 210,000 jobs in November, with the unemployment rate falling by 0.4 percentage points to 4.2 percent.

The job growth, far below economists' expectations for 550,000 jobs, represented the smallest monthly gain since last December, signaling a slower pace of hiring amid uncertainty over the COVID-19 pandemic.

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