Thursday, March 24, 2022

Jobless claims: I feel like humming psychedelic tunes from the 1960s

  - by New Deal democrat

Initial claims (blue) declined 28,000 to 187,000, yet another new pandemic low (pending revisions!), and the lowest of all time going back nearly 60 years except for weeks during 1968 and 1969. The 4 week average (red) declined 11,500 to 211,750 (vs. the pandemic low of 199,750 on December 25). Continuing claims (gold, right scale) declined 67,000 to  1,350,000, also the the lowest number in over 50 years, since January 1970 (the 1960s were uniformly lower):

Well, I am now pleasantly wrong about having said that “we have probably seen the lows in initial claims for this expansion.” With the Omicron wave all but over (I am increasingly less concerned about BA.2), claims have resumed their downturn, as basically nobody is getting laid off. 

What I have been saying for several months, that is still true, is: the record tightness in the jobs market isn’t going away. The number of jobs available relative to the number of applicants will remain tight, meaning there will be continuing upward pressure on wages.