It’s time for the weekly jobless claims. Initial unemployment claims dropped slightly:
New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell slightly last week as employers clung to workers in a tight labor market.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, decreased to 184,000 last week from 186,000 a week earlier, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Jobless claims have hovered around half-century lows since late 2021 as the labor market has continued to improve during the economic recovery. The four-week average for claims, which smooths out volatility, nudged up to 177,250 from 172,750 a week earlier.
Continuing claims, a proxy for the total number of people receiving payments from state unemployment programs, declined to 1.42 million for the week ended April 9 from the previous week’s total of 1.48 million. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag.
High employer demand for labor and rising wages are helping draw sidelined workers into the labor force, economists say. The labor-force participation rate — the share of adults working or looking for work — remains below prepandemic levels, but is rising. It increased to 62.4% in March, up from 62.3% in February and from a pandemic low of 60.2% in April 2020.
The labor force participation rate has still not recovered to pre-pandemic levels, and is not even close to the Wall Street meltdown, much less the numbers in 2000.
There are a lot of people missing from job market.