HomeNewsNewsStrong Labor Market in 2021 Faces Down Omicron Threat

Strong Labor Market in 2021 Faces Down Omicron Threat

U.S. employers added a record number of jobs in 2021, as a gauge of layoffs fell to a half-century low and available positions surged, but the pace of the labor market’s strong recovery could slow early next year due to the uncertainty posed by the Omicron variant of Covid-19 pandemic.

Applications for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, have trended near five-decade lows in recent weeks. Jobless claims for the week ended Dec. 25 fell to a seasonally adjusted 198,000 applications from a revised 206,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That leaves them hovering just above the 188,000 level recorded earlier in December, the lowest level since 1969.

Last week’s four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, fell to the lowest level since October 1969.

Strong job creation has been a cornerstone of 2021’s robust economic growth and would be relied upon to…

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