Rise in jobless claims amid concerns in Eastern Europe

March 10, 2022 — The Labor Department reported that 227,000 Americans filed new claims for state unemployment benefits, an increase of 11,000 from the revised level the previous week. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 215,000 to 216,000. The four-week moving average was at 231,250, an increase of 500 from the revised average of the previous week. . The previous week’s average was revised up by 250, from 230,500 to 230,750. The seasonally adjusted advanced insured unemployment rate was 1.1% for the week ending February 26, unchanged from compared to the unrevised rate of the previous week.

The seasonally adjusted advanced insured unemployment number for the week ending Feb. 26 was 1,494,000, up 25,000 from the revised level the previous week. The previous week’s level was revised down by 7,000 from 1,476,000 to 1,469,000. The four-week moving average was 1,506,500, down 31,250 from the revised average. of the previous week. This is the lowest level for this average since March 28, 1970 when it was 1,483,500. The previous week’s average was revised down by 1,750 from 1,539,500 to 1,537,750 .

“The demand for labor is strong and there is no reason to believe that will change anytime soon, barring another wave of a new variant of Covid,” said Thomas Simons, economist of the money market at Jefferies. “We expect both initial and ongoing claims to be biased downward in the coming weeks.”

“With seemingly no shortage of sources of turbulence in our world, the U.S. labor market has remained, at least so far, a source of relative strength and stability,” Bankrate senior economics analyst Mark Hamrick said in a statement. a rating. He cautioned, however, that although “COVID has loosened its grip”, continuing and potentially growing inflationary pressures and supply shocks will have an “inevitable negative impact on the economy”.

“The recent shocking spike in petrol prices, if it continues, will be a costly tax on consumers,” Mr Hamrick said. “It is difficult to accurately assess and forecast at this stage to what extent this will slow economic momentum in the days, weeks and beyond.”

“At the moment, the financial market turmoil and the coming slowdown in the European economy following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine are not having a ripple effect in the United States,” he said. Chief Economist of FWDBONDS, Christopher S. Rupkey, in a note.

Labor supply remains subdued

“The demand for labor is very strong, and while labor force participation has increased, labor supply remains subdued,” Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said. during testimony to Congress last week. “As a result, employers are struggling to fill vacancies, an unprecedented number of workers are quitting to take new jobs, and wages are rising at their fastest rate in many years.”

Mr. Powell offered an optimistic assessment of the US economic backdrop during his semiannual address to Congress earlier this week. “The labor market is extremely tight…improvements in labor market conditions have been widespread, including for workers at the bottom of the wage distribution as well as for African Americans and Hispanics,” Powell said. during his testimony before the House Financial Services. Committee.

Challenges, opportunities and implications for the leadership of the great resignation
In a new report, Russell Reynolds Associates says the availability of key talent and skills is a top concern for business leaders. And it’s the #1 problem they feel least prepared to deal with. Forty percent of employees, in fact, say they are “at least somewhat likely” to leave their current job within the next three to six months.

“The post-pandemic hiring recovery that has been underway for some time will continue to continue, with employers anticipating strong demand for talent in key industries,” said Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “Companies around the world need skilled workers to achieve their business goals and participate fully in the global economic recovery. The talent shortage continues and employers are competing with a talent pool that has not fully returned to labor markets due to the pandemic. Organizations must embrace bold thinking about where, when and how work is done to meet workers’ wishes while balancing business demands.

There were 9,963 continuous weeks claimed by former federal civilian employees, a decrease of 631 from the previous week. Newly released veterans claiming benefits totaled 4,658, an increase of 13 from the previous week. The highest insured unemployment rates for the week were recorded in Alaska (2.4), California (2.4), Illinois (2.4), New Jersey (2.4), Rhode Island (2.4), Minnesota (2.3), Massachusetts (2.2), New York (2.2), Michigan (1.8), Montana (1.8) and Pennsylvania (1.8 ). The largest increases in initial claims for the week were recorded in Massachusetts (+3,201), Rhode Island (+1,040), District of Columbia (+995), Nevada (+689) and Kansas (+587), while the largest declines were in Michigan (-9,161), California (-5,412), Florida (-2,182), Ohio (-2,098) and Illinois (-1,777)

Related: Major paradigm shifts in the wake of the coronavirus crisis

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor; Dale M. Zupsansky, editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

Mary I. Bruner