US jobless claims rise to 286,000, highest since October

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the omicron variant disrupted the job market. Jobless claims rose for the third straight week — by 55,000 to 286,000, highest since mid-October.

Coronavirus Pandemic, Business

1/20/2022 4:44:00 PM

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the omicron variant disrupted the job market. Jobless claims rose for the third straight week — by 55,000 to 286,000, highest since mid-October.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the fast-spreading omicron variant disrupted the job market. Jobless claims rose for the third straight week — by 55,000 to 286,000, highest since mid-October, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

January 20, 2022 GMTWASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the fast-spreading omicron variant disrupted the job market.Jobless claims rose for the third straight week — by 55,000 to 286,000, highest since mid-October, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, rose by 20,000 to 231,000, highest since late November.

A surge in COVID-19 cases has set back what had been a strong comeback from last year’s short but devastating coronavirus recession. Jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, had fallen mostly steadily for about a year and late last year dipped below the pre-pandemic average of around 220,000 a week.

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By PAUL WISEMAN January 20, 2022 GMT WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose to the highest level in three months as the fast-spreading omicron variant disrupted the job market. Jobless claims rose for the third straight week — by 55,000 to 286,000, highest since mid-October, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average of claims, which smooths out weekly volatility, rose by 20,000 to 231,000, highest since late November. A surge in COVID-19 cases has set back what had been a strong comeback from last year’s short but devastating coronavirus recession. Jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, had fallen mostly steadily for about a year and late last year dipped below the pre-pandemic average of around 220,000 a week. Altogether, 1.6 million people were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Jan. 8. Companies are hanging on to workers they have at a time when it’s difficult to find replacements. Employers posted 10.6 million job openings in November, the fifth-highest monthly total in records going back to 2000. A record 4.5 million workers quit their jobs in November — a sign that they are confident enough to look something better.