December 4, 2021

Jobless Claims Rise Slightly

Other data suggested that the economy remained on a steady growth path, with sales at wholesalers rising by the most in more than 18 months in November, keeping inventories balanced.

Initial claims for state jobless benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 371,000. The prior week’s figure was revised to show 5,000 fewer applications than previously reported.

“Jobless claims data continue to suggest steady but modest U.S. employment gains,” said Robert Kavcic, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labor market trends, increased 6,750 to 365,750, still at a level consistent with steady job gains.

The labor market has been gradually improving, with job gains last year averaging 153,000 a month, little changed from 2011. The unemployment rate ended the year at 7.8 percent.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed that sales at wholesalers rebounded 2.3 percent in November, the largest gain since March 2011, after falling 0.9 percent in October.

Wholesale inventories rose 0.6 percent after advancing 0.3 percent in October.

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