By Gabriel T. Rubin

The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits remained near pandemic lows last week as employers continued to hold on to their workers in a tight labor market.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, totaled a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended Nov. 27, following the prior week's report showing the lowest number of new claims in 52 years.

Seasonal adjustments contributed to last week's low number, with the sharp decline likely overstating the amount of progress in the labor market's return to pre-pandemic levels.

This week's report lowered the four-week moving average, which smooths out statistical volatility, to 238,750. The four-week average has continued to drift downward since September, after a brief uptick related to the surge from the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Write to Gabriel Rubin at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

December 02, 2021 08:58 ET (13:58 GMT)

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