U.S. unemployment numbers for last week held steady through the holiday season, in part reflecting a continued strong labor market under President Donald Trump, Bloomberg reports.
The amount of people applying for unemployment benefits is at a four-decade low, totaling less than 300,000, widely considered a benchmark for a healthy labor market. The unemployment rate for those who qualify for benefits stayed steady at 1.4 percent, according to Bloomberg.
Calculating unemployment in the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico remains difficult and is still largely affected by hurricanes wrecking both territories earlier in the year, according to the Department of Labor.
Consumer confidence has propelled retailers and delivery companies through the holiday season. Online and in-store vendors brought in a record $800 billion, according to Reuters.
Record sales come in a year that some of the largest U.S. retailers declined to bulk up their labor force in preparation for the busiest season of the year.
A competitive labor market has restricted business options in terms of hiring skilled labor. Businesses have opted to keep their normal workforce, using raises and bonuses to incentivize production rather than relying on season labor.
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