Just 187,000 UI claims were filed across the nation last week, reports the U.S. Department of Labor.
In the week ending March 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 187,000, a decrease of 28,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since September 6, 1969 when it was 182,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 214,000 to 215,000. The 4-week moving average was 211,750, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 223,000 to 223,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.0 percent for the week ending March 12, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate.
It need not be said, but we will anyway, that the nation’s population was much back in 1969.
The Associated Press reports on the UI numbers.
The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits last week fell to its lowest level in 52 years as the U.S. job market continues to show strength in the midst of rising costs and an ongoing virus pandemic.
Probably not a blip.
The four-week average for claims, which compensates for weekly volatility, also fell to levels not seen in five decades. The Labor Department reported that the four week moving average tumbled to 211,750 from the previous week’s 223,250.
Still, as the AP notes, employers have plenty of jobs to fill.
Earlier this month, the government reported that employers added a robust 678,000 jobs in February, the largest monthly total since July. The unemployment rate dropped to 3.8%, from 4% in January, extending a sharp decline in joblessness to its lowest level since before the pandemic erupted two years ago.
U.S. businesses posted a near-record level of open jobs in January — 11.3 million — a trend has helped pad workers’ pay and added to inflationary pressures.
A strengthening job market presumably will lead to an easing of the labor shortage cited by so many Washington employers.