Only Alabama Adds Jobless Claims as Weekly Numbers Decrease to 238,000

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In the week ending January 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 238,000, a decrease of 23,000 from the previous week’s revised level, below analysts’ expectations, according to the Labor Department.

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The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 to 261,000 from 260,000, according to the Labor Department.

Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal expect the Labor Department to report that initial jobless claims dropped to 245,000 in the week ended Jan. 29.

Last week’s four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, was 255,000, an increase of 7,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 247,000 to 247,250.

The only state to see an increase in claims was Alabama, which added 628 new ones. California, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Kentucky had the largest decreases in claims for the week.

Jeanniey Walden, CMO of DailyPay, told GOBankingRates that the much-anticipated jobs report may be tomorrow, but continuing jobless claims just reached their lowest level in nearly a half-century.

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“Even Omicron was no match for the hottest labor market in memory. This comes on the heels of Tuesday’s JOLTS report which showed the second-highest job quits ever and the third-highest job openings ever,” Walden said. “So with record employees quitting and employers struggling to fill positions, it is no surprise that companies are managing involuntary turnover to a bare minimum. One note of caution – the last time we saw jobless claims this low, we were on the cusp of the 1970s stagflation era.”

On Wednesday, Feb. 2, the ADP National Employment Report said private payroll employment decreased by 301,000 jobs in December — largely due to the effects of the Omicron variant — indicating a significant drop following November’s 807,000 jobs addition.

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The labor market recovery took a step back at the start of 2022 due to the effect of the Omicron variant and its significant, though likely temporary, impact to job growth,” Nela Richardson, chief economist for ADP, said in a statement. “The majority of industry sectors experienced job loss, marking the most recent decline since December 2020. Leisure and hospitality saw the largest setback after substantial gains in fourth quarter 2021, while small businesses were hit hardest by losses, erasing most of the job gains made in December 2021.”

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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