Weekly Jobless Claims Drop to Lowest Number in 52 Years
The last time America enjoyed the kind of unemployment numbers posted last week, the Fifth Dimension was at the top of the charts along with Elvis and the Beatles.
The Labor Department reported on Wednesday that new jobless claims totaled 199,000 last week, a number not seen since November 15, 1969, when claims totaled 197,000. The report easily beat Dow Jones estimates of 260,000 and was well below the previous week’s 270,000. The department didn’t say which, if any, special factors may have caused the stunning drop, which could provide an important signal about a jobs market that has been struggling to come back since the Covid-19 lockdowns began in March 2020.
The decline appeared at least in part to be due to seasonal hiring adjustments. Unadjusted claims totaled 258,622, which actually was an increase of 7.6% from the previous week. The report also saw a massive revision to the increase in wages and salaries, which rose $301.1 billion, an upward revision of more than 50% from the original estimate.
We have made historic progress in the ten months I’ve been in office.
Unemployment is down to 4.6 percent – two years faster than experts predicted.
Wages are rising. Disposable income is up. More people are starting small businesses than ever before.
Along with the drop in weekly claims, continuing claims, which run a week behind, fell by 60,000 to 2.05 million, a new pandemic-era low and a strong sign that the labor market is getting notably tighter. In other economic reports Wednesday morning, second-quarter GDP growth was revised up slightly to 2.1%, though that was below estimates for 2.2%. Also, durable goods orders declined 0.5%, worse than expectations of a 0.2% gain.
— Tara Dublin (Taylor’s Version) (@taradublinrocks) November 24, 2021
GDP, a total of all goods and services produced, increased one-tenth of a percentage point from the initial estimate of 2%, mostly on the backs of upward revisions in consumer purchases and private inventory investment, according to the Commerce Department.
This is a big deal. Less than 2 years ago, the economy was in freefall, unemployment rising to Great Depression levels, workforce participation falling, GDP collapsing and unconstrained disease spread. Electing responsible adults matters. https://t.co/SpOKmROvWW pic.twitter.com/Cv9UK15uml
— Sean Casten (@SeanCasten) November 24, 2021