The latest weekly jobless claims fell to 199,000, the lowest level since 1969

Initial weekly jobless claims It dropped to 199,000 last weekIt reached its lowest level since 1969, beating economists’ expectations of 260,000.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits have fallen in recent weeks as employers retain their workforce in a tight labor market.

The latest weekly data was released early in the day due to the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

Mark Hamrick, Chief Economist at Bankrate, said, “Getting new claims below the 200,000 mark for the first time since the pandemic began is really significant, which is indicative of further improvement. Pressures associated with higher prices, lack of supplies and jobs available candidates are weighed against lower levels. From layoffs, wage gains and a lower unemployment rate. Growth is likely to be above average for the foreseeable future.”

Companies in almost all sectors are struggling to find workers, sticking tightly to those they have and raising wages to attract more employees.

While the economy is still short of about 4 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, 531,000 jobs added last month, According to the latest monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, down from 4.8 percent.

If initial weekly claims remain below pre-pandemic levels, the improving labor market could put pressure on the Fed to speed up its tapering schedule, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said announced this month It’ll be $15 billion a month. A quick cut could push the rate hike schedule and lead the central bank to consider raising benchmark interest rates soon.

Since June 2020, the central bank has been buying $120 billion in bonds a month — $80 billion in Treasuries and $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities — to add liquidity and keep the financial system running efficiently. Powell announced at the time that the central bank “is prepared to adjust the pace of purchases if warranted by changes in the economic outlook.”

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