Initial unemployment claims in regular state programs totaled in the week ended Nov. 27, an increase of 28,000 from the prior week, Labor Department data showed Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 240,000 applications.
The four-week average of initial applications, which smooths out large swings in the data, dropped to 238,750.
The level of claims is still near the lows of the pandemic and points to the labor market’s continuing recovery. However, the emerging omicron variant poses a risk to what’s otherwise been a solid pace of hiring.
The figures come a day before the government’s monthly employment report, which is projected to show payrolls increased by 546,000 in November.
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