23 November 2022

It's Jobless Thursday on Wednesday

They put the numbers out a day early on account of the holidays, and initial unemployment claims rose by 17,000 to 240,000, above the 2019 average of  218,400. (The before times)

Continuing claims rose by rose by 48,000 to 1,600,000 million.

The Federal Reserve should pause rate hikes for a while, but they won't, because central bankers need to prove their manhood:

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose last week but stayed relatively low, the latest sign that the labor market remains on solid ground.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, increased by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 240,000 last week, the Labor Department said Wednesday. That is close to the prepandemic 2019 weekly average of 218,400, during the similarly strong labor market that prevailed before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The four-week moving average of weekly claims, which smooths out some volatility, rose by 5,500 to 226,750 last week, the most since early September. Jobless-claims numbers tend to fluctuate more in November and December due to holidays.

Weekly jobless claims have been generally edging higher since hitting a recent low of 166,000 in March of this year, and are now at their highest levels since early August. Many high-profile companies have announced job cuts or hiring freezes recently, amid an unusually sharp increase in interest rates and slowing economic growth.


Continuing claims, which reflect the number of people seeking ongoing unemployment benefits, rose by 48,000 to 1.6 million in the week ended Nov. 12, the sixth consecutive week of increase. That figure, which is reported with a one-week lag, is up from spring this year, but still near the lowest level since 1970, when the labor force was much smaller than it is today. 

And work force participation is still down, likely because of the millions of people suffering from long Covid.

This is not an overheating economy, but the barbers at the Federal Reserve will continue bleeding the patient.  It's all they know.


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