First-Time Unemployment Claims Drop Below 200,000 for Second Straight Week

How many times in a row does something have to happen before you can call it a streak?

If the answer is two, then the number of first-time unemployment claims falling is on one.

For the second straight week, the number of Americans claiming first-time unemployment benefits stayed below 200,000. According to statistics released by the U.S. Labor Department Thursday, 186,000 such claims were filed the week ending Jan. 20.

That followed a week when those figures were adjusted to 192,000, a drop of some 6,000 claims. It’s the first time that total has been under 200,000 in back-to-back weeks since April, Labor Department statistics show.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits remained above the 200,000 mark for most of 2022

The four-week moving average for last week also fell, dropping to 197,500, a decrease of 9,250 from the previous week.

The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits for the week ending Jan. 14 increased by 20,000 to 1.675 million. The previous week was revised up by 8,000 to 1.655 million.

The four-week moving average for overall unemployment filings for the same week fell by 10,750 to 1,664,250. The previous week’s total was revised up by the Labor Department to 1.675 million.