COLUMBUS, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio jobless claims were on the rise the week before Christmas.

There were 11,955 initial unemployment claims, which was 2,618 more than the previous week. Also, 42,654 filed continued unemployment claims, which was 344 higher than the previous week.

Nationwide, Jobless claims dropped by 8,000 to 198,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week average, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, fell to just above 199,000, the lowest level since October 1969.

The numbers suggest that the fast-spreading omicron variant has yet to trigger a wave of layoffs. Altogether, 1.7 million Americans were collecting traditional unemployment aid the week that ended Dec. 18, the lowest since March 2020 and down by 140,000 from the week before