Posted by on May 12, 2022 8:57 am
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Jobless claims tick up to 203,000, remain near lowest level in decades

This April 22, 2014, file photo shows an employment application form on a table during a job fair at Columbia-Greene Community College in Hudson, N.Y. The Labor Department released its weekly report on applications for unemployment benefits on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016. Slightly more Americans sought unemployment benefits during the previous week, but the overall levels still remain near historic lows in a positive sign for the job market. (Mike Groll/AP)

Jobless claims tick up to 203,000, remain near lowest level in decades

Zachary Halaschak May 12, 08:31 AMMay 12, 08:31 AM Video Embed

The number of new applications for unemployment benefits rose slightly by 1,000 last week to 203,000, keeping with the trend of low weekly jobless claims.

The level of weekly jobless claims, reported Thursday by the Department of Labor, indicates that layoffs are increasingly rare as employers try to hold on to workers. Weekly claims have been headed downward since the omicron variant of COVID-19 peaked in mid-January.

New jobless claims have been in retreat over the past year. Around this time in May of last year, new claims were averaging more than 450,000 per week.

MANUFACTURERS UNDER PRESSURE FROM SURGING DOLLAR AS FED GRAPPLES WITH INFLATION

The lowest number of recent jobless claims was the 166,000 notched in mid-March — the fewest number of new weekly claims since 1968.

The news comes a day after it was announced that inflation remained stubbornly high in April. Consumer prices increased by 8.3% for the 12 months ending last month, a slight downward tick from the 8.5% registered in March, but still far above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target.

The Fed hiked its interest rate target by half a percentage point this month in an effort to drive down inflation. The increase was more aggressive than usual and is equivalent to two typical rate hikes at once, something that hasn’t been done since 2000.

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In terms of the labor market, the economy beat expectations and added 428,000 jobs last month, despite the high inflation and a contraction in GDP in the first quarter of this year.

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Originally appeared at Washington Examiner

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