Jobless claims fall by 8,000, remaining near historic low
May 26, 2022 — The Labor Department reported that 210,000 Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits, down 8,000 from the unrevised level of 218,000 the previous week. The four-week moving average was 206,750, an increase of 7,250 from the unrevised average of 199,500 the previous week.
The seasonally adjusted advanced insured unemployment rate was 1.0% for the week, an increase of 0.1 percentage points from the unrevised rate the previous week. The advanced number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week was 1,346,000, an increase of 31,000 from the revised level of the previous week. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 1,317,000 to 1,315,000. The four-week moving average was 1,347,500, down 14,250 from the revised average. of the previous week. This is the lowest level for this average since January 17, 1970 when it was 1,340,000. The previous week’s average has been revised down by 500, from 1,362,250 to 1,361,750.
The highest insured unemployment rates for the week were recorded in California (2.0), New Jersey (1.9), Alaska (1.7), New York (1.4), Porto Rico (1.4), Massachusetts (1.3), Rhode Island (1.3) and Illinois. (1.2), Minnesota (1.2), Pennsylvania (1.2), and the Virgin Islands (1.2). The largest increases in initial claims for the week were recorded in Kentucky (+6,712), California (+1,968), Illinois (+1,742), Ohio (+1,189) and Florida (+ 629), while the biggest drops were recorded in Michigan (-384), Georgia (-325), Colorado (-301), Arizona (-278) and District of Columbia (-251).
Earlier this month, the government announced that US employers added 428,000 jobs in April, with an unemployment rate of 3.6%, just above the lowest level in half a century. Hiring gains have been surprisingly steady in the face of the worst inflation in four decades, with employers adding at least 400,000 jobs for 12 straight months.
“Demands are still at very low levels, underscoring historically tight labor market conditions,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, chief US economist at Oxford Economics. “We expect initial claims to remain below (200,000) in the coming weeks as employers, who continue to struggle to attract and retain workers, keep layoffs to a minimum.”
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Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated his assessment of labor market strength earlier this month, just days after he called the current labor market “tight at an unhealthy level” at his conference in February. post-Fed meeting press last week. “The labor market is enjoying substantial momentum. Job growth has been fueled by the difficult wave of Omicron, creating 1.75 million jobs over the past three months,” Powell said in a speech last week. “In many ways, the job market is extremely tight, significantly tighter than the very strong job market just before the pandemic.”
U.S. job cuts rose for a second consecutive month in April as employers weighed the costs and rising risk of inflation in a labor market that has mostly seen record demand for workers over the past month. past year, the Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. employment tracker showed on Thursday.
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U.S. employers announced 24,286 cuts in April, up 14% from 21,387 tracked in March and 6% from the 22,913 cuts tracked in April 2021, according to the company’s latest monthly report. It was also the first time in a year that job cuts were larger than the corresponding month a year earlier.
“Job cut plans appear to be on the rise, particularly as companies assess market conditions, inflationary risks and capital spending,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Despite this, job vacancies are still at record highs. Workers who will be laid off will have many opportunities and will likely land quickly. »
As job cuts rose for a second consecutive month, the number of layoffs – 79,982 – was the lowest recorded overall between January and April, the data showed.
Separately, private payroll processor ADP reported on Wednesday that private employers in the United States added 247,000 jobs in April, about half of March levels and the smallest in two years as the job market wobbles. at full employment.
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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media