Jobless Claims Down -35% Since Late March

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Key Highlights

  • Weekly unemployment claims dropped to 385,000 week ending May 29
  • Fifth consecutive week of declining filings

Downward Trend in Jobless Claims “Relentless”

The last five consecutive weeks have shown us in black and white terms that the labor market is healing.

New initial jobless claims as of the week ending May 29 fell to 385,000 according to the US Department of Labor. Since late April, jobless claims (layoffs) have decreased by -35%

Ian Shepherdson, chief economist with Pantheon Macroeconomics, said, “Claims remain elevated by normal standards, but the downward trend has been relentless in recent months…a return to the pre-COVID level over the summer seems a decent bet.”

Save a bit of your jubilance, however.  In mid-May, 15.4M jobless workers received unemployment benefits via regular state aid and federal emergency programs.  This 15.4M figure was down more than 4M from the first week of March BUT still nearly 7X the number of jobless workers collecting benefits pre-pandemic.

According to Rubeela Farooqi, chief US economist with High Frequency Economics, “Basically, the message is the same: The labor market has a long way to go.”

Separate May Employment Report

 

Demand for Workers Picking Up Steam

The latest data from IHS Markit indicated a surge in services activity as more business reopen and consumers go out.  In fact, IHS Markit indicated the surge in services activity is the fastest rise in this industry sector since this outfit began collecting such data in October 2009.

Indeed has reported that job postings, as of the end of May, increased +26% compared to pre-pandemic February 2020.

Bottom Line

Labor market health is returning…the economy is ramping up.

We’ll see and report what the US Federal Reserve plans to do about interest rates with these increasingly good yet still mixed reviews.

 

Thanks to The Wall Street Journal.

 

 

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