US Weekly Jobless Claims Hit 1969 Lows on Dynamic Recovery From COVID-19
15:06 GMT 09.12.2021 (Updated: 13:27 GMT 06.08.2022)
© AFP 2023 / JOE RAEDLEA ' We're Hiring" sign hangs near the entrance to a CVS store on November 05, 2021 in Miami Beach, Florida. The Labor Department reported today that the U.S. job market in October showed that non-farm payrolls rose more than expected and that the unemployment rate fell to 4.6%
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US jobless claims came in at 184,000 for last week, the lowest in more than 50 years, as the employment market resumed its dynamic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, Labour Department data showed Thursday.
"In the week ending December 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 184,000, a decrease of 43,000 from the previous week's revised level," the department said in a release. "This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969 when it was 182,000."
Economists polled by US media had forecast on the average 220,000 filings for weekly unemployment benefits last week.
"Two weeks ago, the 194K reading was the lowest since 1969 and now we've beaten it," economist Adam Button said in a post on ForexLive.
The United States is experiencing one of the greatest transformations of its employment market as the COVID-19 crisis upended labour supply and work trends, putting employees’ demands above those of employers.
Analysts say US workers are enjoying some of the greatest opportunities ever as acute labour shortages and post-pandemic shifts enable them to demand higher wages and prioritize child-care and health concerns.
In a separate report released Wednesday, the Labor Department said the number of Americans quitting their jobs fell from a record high in October while employment opportunities rose, easing some of the tight labour situations.
After staggering unemployment initially triggered by the outbreak of COVID-19, the labour market has steadily picked up this year, showing a jobless rate of just 4.2% in November from a high of 14.8% in April 2020.
November’s jobless rate of 4.2%, interestingly, came in just above the 4% mark that the Fed defines as maximum employment in the United States.
5 November 2021, 19:46 GMT
The central bank needs maximum employment, inflation at 2% or more per annum and steady economic growth to hike interest rates, which it has kept at between zero and 0.25% since the onset of the pandemic nearly two years ago.
The economy shrank by 3.5% for all of 2020 due to shutdowns and other disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis. Growth this year has been spotty, with an annualized 3.5% expansion in the first quarter, 3.6% in the second and 2.1% in the third.
The Fed announced in March that it expected a 6.5% economic expansion for all of 2021 and has not changed its target despite the uneven growth in the past three quarters. The problem for the central bank though is inflation running at more than 30-year highs as prices of almost everything have soared from the lows of the pandemic due to higher wage demands and supply chain disruptions.