Jobless Claims Fall as Layoffs Fall in May

June 2, 2022 – The Labor Department reported that 200,000 Americans have filed new claims for state unemployment benefits, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 210,000 to 211,000. The four-week moving average was 206,500, a decrease of 500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 206,750 to 207,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 0.9 percent for the week, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week was 1,309,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since Dec. 27, 1969 when it was 1,304,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 3,000 from 1,346,000 to 1,343,000. The four-week moving average was 1,327,250, a decrease of 19,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since Jan. 10, 1970 when it was 1,310,250. The previous week’s average was revised down by 750 from 1,347,500 to 1,346,750.

The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book on Wednesday showed “one district explicitly reported that the pace of job growth had slowed,” and that “some firms in most of the coastal districts noted hiring freezes or other signs that market tightness had begun to ease.” But the government reported on Wednesday that there were 11.4 million job openings at the end of April.

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The government’s closely watched employment report on Friday is expected to show strong job growth persisted in May despite rising interest rates and tightening financial conditions.

Job Cuts

Job cuts in the U.S. rose for a second month in a row in April as employers assessed costs and the growing risk of inflation in a labor market that has mostly seen record demand for workers over the past year, employment tracker Challenger, Gray & Christmas Inc. showed on Thursday.

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U.S. employers announced 24,286 cuts last month, a 14 percent increase from the 21,387 tracked in March and up six percent from the 22,913 cuts monitored in April 2021, the firm’s latest monthly report showed. It was also the first time in a year when job cuts were higher than the corresponding month a year earlier.

“Job cut plans appear to be on the rise, particularly as companies assess market conditions, inflationary risks, and capital spending,” said Andrew Challenger, senior vice president of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. “Despite this, job openings are still at record highs. Workers who are being cut will have lots of opportunities and will likely land quickly.”

While job cuts rose for a second month in a row, the number of layoffs — 79,982 — were the lowest recorded in total between a January to April period, the data showed.

Separately, private payrolls processor ADP reported that private employers in the U.S. added 247,000 jobs in April, just about half of March levels and the smallest in two years as the labor market hovered at full employment.

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Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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