Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 225,000 for the week ended Nov. 26. That unwound some of the surge in the prior week, which had boosted claims.
While some of the rise reflected a surge in layoffs in the technology sector, claims also tend to be volatile at the start of the holiday season as companies temporarily close or slow hiring. Overall, claims remain in line with pre-pandemic levels. Economists had forecast 235,000 claims for the latest week.
The Fed’s Beige Book on Wednesday reported “scattered” layoffs in November in the technology, finance, and real estate sectors, but noted that “some contacts expressed a reluctance to shed workers in light of hiring difficulties, even though their labor needs were diminishing.”
Technology layoffs helped to boost job cuts announced by US-based companies in November, a third report from global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed on Thursday. Planned job cuts surged 127% to 76,835 last month.
The technology sector announced 52,771 layoffs, the largest since 2000. There were also notable increases in the automotive, consumer products, construction, healthcare products and transportation industries.
Employers have announced 320,173 job cuts this year, up 6% compared to the same period in 2021. Still, the year-to-date total is the second lowest on record.
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