New weekly jobless claims came in at 787,000 in the week that ended January 2, the Department of Labor said Wednesday.
That exactly matched the initial report for the prior week. Economists had expected a rise to 815,000, according to Marketwatch. The prior week’s figure was revised up to 790,000.
Jobless claims can be volatile week to week so many economists prefer to look at the four-week average. This rose to 818,750, a decrease of 18,750 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level.
Jobless claims—which are a proxy for layoffs—remain at extremely high levels. Prior to the pandemic, the highest level of claims was 695,000 hit in October of 1982. In March of 2009, at the depths of the financial crisis recession, jobless claims peaked at 665,000.
Even when the economy is creating a lot of demand for workers, many businesses will shed employees as they adjust to market conditions. But in