Initial Claims Drop To Unnoticeable
Forgotten by a fickle press, the number of initial unemployment claims has dropped to whisper levels, which is probably why no one is talking about it. Good news is no news, to reverse the old saying.
But this is the lowest claims rate since Richard Nixon was in office. Which is a long time ago. Job security today matches the near mythic level of the Post WWII economy we're supposedly all misty eyed about.
The RED line shows initial claims scraping the bottom of the chart. This is down from a peak of 6,137,000 hit on April 4, 2020 to a faint pulse of 184,000! That is a run we will likely never see again.
The BLUE line, for continuing claims, went from a pre-COVID level of 1,799,000 to a current 1,417,000. Oddly enough, there appears to be a substantial cohort of Americans who believe there have been job losses in the past year.
If the current pace continues, the job force will exceed the pre COVID level in a couple of months. As of March 2022, Prime Age Employment to Population is just 0.5% away from the pre COVID level. That's a 10.9% recovery from the April 2020 swoon.
With the Fed stepping on the brakes here, further progress could slow, and how slow will be the big question.