Just in time for Christmas Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus [screw it, we’re writing a straight lede]: The Department of Labor reported a 28,000 decrease in the number of unemployment claims filed last week, which brings the total number of claims to 452,000, well below the “meaningless” (but still nice) milestone of 500,000 claims hit about a month ago.
No states dropped huge bombshells in the form of tens of thousands of new claims at once for the latest week information was available, and in fact, six states reported a decrease in weekly claims of 10,000 or more. (of which one was, of course, North Carolina!)
There are a couple possibilities for this which we’re throwing out there. One: these stats cover the week ending Dec. 18, which is the day many people take off on vacation before the holidays. People who have a flight to catch don’t have time to go to the unemployment office. (Similarly, we think we’ll see a drop in claims for the week ending tomorrow.)
Also, who’s heartless enough to lay people off the week before Christmas? So those two factors may play a part in the reduced claims, but we’ll take what we can get.