It’s Jobless Thursday!
And for the second time in 2 weeks, initial unemployment claims fell to a multi-decade low.
I think that this is indisputably good news, but I have to figure that something is screwed up with the seasonal adjustments:
A strong economic recovery and persistent labor shortage pushed jobless claims to their lowest level in more than half a century last week, just 18 months after the pandemic prompted six million workers to file for unemployment in one week.
First-time claims for unemployment benefits, a proxy for layoffs, fell to 184,000 in the week ended Dec. 4, the lowest level since September 1969, the Labor Department said Thursday. The previous pre-pandemic [should say post] low of 194,000 was recorded late last month.
Economists say the low number partly reflects seasonal adjustments that have been thrown off balance by the pandemic’s disruptions, but that the broader downward trend is firmly in place.
Recent warm weather in parts of the country could also have delayed the seasonal layoffs of construction workers, which pushed down the overall number last week, said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR, Inc. Once the weather turns cold and those workers stop working, the layoff numbers should climb slightly, he said.
One hopes that Omicron won’t knock the pins out from the recovery.