Claims for unemployment benefits dipped to their lowest point in more than 50 years the week before Thanksgiving — a remarkable rebound from the nosebleed levels earlier in the Covid-19 pandemic.
The reduction is good news for the U.S. economy and labor market. However, the headline figure masks a detail that likely makes the data appear overly rosy, according to labor experts.
"I would not break out the party hats just yet," said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at job site Indeed.
Workers filed 199,000 initial claims during the week ended Nov. 20, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Wednesday. (Initial claims are a proxy for benefit applications.) That's the fewest since the week ending Nov. 15, 1969, and a decrease of 71,000 from the prior week.