US weekly jobless claims at three-month high amid Omicron wave

"The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is hurting the U.S. labor market, but the good news is that this will be temporary," said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody's Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania.(File pic shows people lining up for US jobless unemployment forms. - Reuters)

WASHINGTON: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits jumped to a three-month high last week, likely as a winter wave of COVID-19 infections disrupted business activity, which could weigh on job growth in January.

The third straight weekly increase in jobless claims reported by the Labor Department on Thursday was also influenced by unfavorable seasonal factors after the holidays. But coronavirus cases, driven by the Omicron variant, are subsiding and the seasonal factors, the model used by the government to iron out seasonal fluctuations in the data, are seen normalizing soon, suggesting the recent surge in applications is a blip.

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US , unemployment , jobless , economy , Omicron


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