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Initial and continuing jobless claims: 2022 starts out where 2021 left off

Summary:
Initial and continuing jobless claims: 2022 starts out where 2021 left off The labor market in 2022 started out where it left off in 2021, as new claims increased slightly, by 7,000, to 207,000. The 4 week average of new claims increased 4.750 to 204,500: Readings this low haven’t been seen in half a century. Continuing claims for jobless benefits also rose slightly, by 36,000, to 1,754,000: Except for 2018-19, we haven’t seen continuing claims this low since 1974: We can expect this situation to continue so long as the pandemic keeps many potential workers (on the order of 4,000,000 or so) on the sidelines. As I wrote yesterday concerning the JOLTS report, it’s like a game of reverse musical chairs where the holders of the chairs can’t

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Initial and continuing jobless claims: 2022 starts out where 2021 left off

The labor market in 2022 started out where it left off in 2021, as new claims increased slightly, by 7,000, to 207,000. The 4 week average of new claims increased 4.750 to 204,500:


Initial and continuing jobless claims: 2022 starts out where 2021 left off
Readings this low haven’t been seen in half a century.


Continuing claims for jobless benefits also rose slightly, by 36,000, to 1,754,000:


Initial and continuing jobless claims: 2022 starts out where 2021 left off
Except for 2018-19, we haven’t seen continuing claims this low since 1974:

Initial and continuing jobless claims: 2022 starts out where 2021 left off

We can expect this situation to continue so long as the pandemic keeps many potential workers (on the order of 4,000,000 or so) on the sidelines. As I wrote yesterday concerning the JOLTS report, it’s like a game of reverse musical chairs where the holders of the chairs can’t get enough people to sit in them. In those circumstances, virtually nobody is going to get laid off. I don’t know if initial claims will go any lower, but I suspect continuing claims will continue to decline to or even below their 2018-19 levels.


In the meantime, I expect another good employment report tomorrow, and I will be really surprised if last month’s initial estimate of a gain of 210,000 jobs in November isn’t raised substantially higher.

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