Initial claims were basically unchanged, dropping to 191,000 from last week’s 192,000, seasonally adjusted.
Worker filings for unemployment benefits held nearly steady last week, showing that the broader labor market remains robust despite large companies announcing layoffs.
Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, decreased slightly by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 191,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The level of claims fluctuated earlier this month, in part because of school closures, but broadly remains historically low. The four-week average of weekly claims, which smooths out volatility in the weekly numbers, edged lower last week to 196,250.
Continuing claims, a proxy for the total number of ongoing unemployment-benefits payments, increased by 14,000 to 1.69 million in the week ended March 11. Continuing claims are reported with a one-week lag.
The level of insured unemployment is somewhat elevated from a low point of about 1.3 million last spring. Modestly elevated continuing claims could be a sign some beneficiaries are taking longer to find new jobs.
So, notwithstanding the tech layoffs, which I think are more herd mentality juicing executives stock options than anything else, we are not seeing an uptick in job losses.
Also, as I have noted before, I think that the Covid-19 pandemic has screwed up the seasonal adjustments, so we may be seeing some effects from that.