WASHINGTON D.C. — (12-30-21) — The U.S. economy ends 2021 on a high note as the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell below 200,000 to 198,000, more evidence that president Biden’s economy remains strong in the aftermath of 2020’s coronavirus recession.

Jobless claims dropped by 8,000 to 198,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average, fell to just above 199,000, the lowest level since October 1969.

The strong numbers being reported by the Labor Department suggest that the fast-spreading omicron variant has not triggered major layoffs despite the fact that news outlets are reporting businesses closing or special events being postponed due to Omicron.

The Labor Department says that 1.7 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment for the week ending Dec. 18, the lowest since March 2020 and down by 140,000 from the week before.

According to CNBC, the weekly jobless claim numbers, a proxy for layoffs, have fallen steadily most of the year, especially with employers being reluctant to lay off workers at a time when it’s hard to find replacements.

The unemployment rate as of December 31, 2021 has fallen to 4.2 percent, close to what economists consider full employment.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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