After reporting first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits at their lowest level in over fifty years in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest rebound by initial jobless claims in the week ended November 27th.
The report said initial jobless claims rose to 222,000, an increase of 28,000 from the previous week's revised level of 194,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to climb to 240,000 from the 199,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The modest increase came after jobless claims tumbled to their lowest level since 1969 in the previous week, although the drop was partly attributed to the later timing of Thanksgiving this year throwing off the seasonal adjustment.
"Claims data may continue to be noisy during the holiday period, but over time we expect initial claims will more consistently hover around pre-pandemic levels, assuming the Omicron variant of the coronavirus has only a moderate negative impact on the economy," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead Economist at Oxford Economics.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average fell to a new pandemic-era low of 238,750, a decrease of 12,250 from the previous week's revised average of 251,000.
The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance also slid by 107,000 to 1.956 million in the week ended November 20th, hitting the lowest level since March of 2020.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped to a pandemic-era low of 2,084,250, a decrease of 36,250 from the previous week's revised average of 2,120,500.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of November.
Employment is expected to jump by 550,000 jobs in November after surging by 531,000 jobs in October, while the unemployment rate is expected to edge down to 4.5 percent from 4.6 percent.