Jobless Claims Hold Steady at 184,000

April 21, 2022 – The Labor Department reported that 184,000 Americans have filed new claims for state unemployment benefits, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up from 185,000 to 186,000. The four-week moving average was 177,250, an increase of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 172,250 to 172,750. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.0 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 1,417,000, a decrease of 58,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 1,475,000. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since Feb. 21, 1970 when it was 1,412,000. The four-week moving average was 1,481,750, a decrease of 31,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 21, 1970 when it was 1,456,750. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,500 from 1,511,500 to 1,513,000

The latest weekly jobless claims data comes on the heels of another solid monthly jobs report from the Labor Department, which showed a significant rise in hirings and a drop in the jobless rate to a near 50-year low. Non-farm payrolls grew by 431,000 in March, while the unemployment rate improved by a greater-than-expected margin to 3.6 percent. And as of last month, the U.S. labor market was just about 1.6 million payrolls short of its pre-pandemic levels.

Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell reiterated his assessment of the labor market’s strength earlier this month, just days after calling the current job market “tight to an unhealthy level” in his post-Fed meeting press conference last week. “The labor market has substantial momentum. Employment growth powered through the difficult Omicron wave, adding 1.75 million jobs over the past three months,” Mr. Powell said in a speech last week. “By many measures, the labor market is extremely tight, significantly tighter than the very strong job market just before the pandemic.”

Hiring Outlook

Strong hiring optimism continued into the second quarter of 2022, according to the Q2 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey of 41,000 employers. Employers in 36 of 40 countries reported stronger hiring intentions than this time last year with greatest demand in IT, finance, and manufacturing. Demand for skilled workers remains at record highs as employers seek to attract and retain the best, diverse talent as employers embrace the post-pandemic era.

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“Labor markets around the world are looking strong for Q2, with hiring outlooks back at pre-pandemic levels in most countries,” said Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “Any impact of the Ukraine crisis is not reflected in employer hiring intentions. While Poland and neighboring countries are dealing with the humanitarian crisis, we must be poised to help resettlement and employment efforts for refugees, adapting roles and requirements to fill vacancies and create new opportunities.”

“At ManpowerGroup we are working fast to leverage our experience integrating refugees into labor markets from other countries – for example from Syria to Germany, Afghanistan to U.S. – and to adapt and scale reskilling and upskilling programs specifically targeted to this population,” said Mr. Prising. “Now is the time for collaboration between employers and governments to make it as fast and simple as possible to integrate refugees into the workforce so they can earn a living, contribute to society, and most importantly feel welcomed in their new surroundings.”

Related: Major Paradigm Shifts Coming Out of the Coronavirus Crisis

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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