Labor Bottlenecks May Hamper Growth in the U.S.

Initial jobless claims rose less than expected last week. Due to the tight labor market, layoffs fell to a 28-1/2 year low in November.

Initial jobless claims rose 28,000 to 222,000 in the week ended Nov. 27 after falling to 194,000 the previous week.

In addition, the ADP National Employment Report reported that private sector jobs increased by 534,000 last month. Industrial employment figures rose to their highest level in seven months.

Based on a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, U.S. employer-reported job cuts fell 34.8% in November to 14,875, the lowest level since May 1993. For the year to date, 302,918 jobs have been eliminated, an 86% decline from the same period in 2020.

Yet labor shortages are hampering job growth. By the end of September, there were 10.4 million job openings, but the labor force is 3 million below pre-pandemic levels.

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