by Harry Wilmerding
The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims increased to 207,000 in the week ending Jan. 1 as workers seek more attractive positions with better pay and Omicron coronavirus variant cases surge.
The Labor Department figure shows a 7,000 claim increase compared to the week ending Dec. 25, when claims reached a revised level of 200,000. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected claims would decrease to 195,000.
Meanwhile, a record 4.5 million American’s quit their jobs in November while job openings dipped to 10.6 million from October’s 11.1 million figure.
“Employee confidence is extremely high; there are so many choices,” Paul Mcdonald, senior executive director at the staffing firm Robert Half International Inc., told the WSJ. “The demand for skilled talent is unprecedented right now.”
The U.S. economy added only 210,000 jobs in November, marking one of the lowest figures since President Joe Biden took office.
December’s jobs report is scheduled for release on Jan. 7. Economists surveyed by the WSJ anticipate a gain of 405,000 jobs in December in addition to the unemployment rate dropping to 4.1% from November’s 4.2% figure.
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Harry Wilmerding is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0