[Programming note: I will post about new home sales later this morning.]
Initial claims (blue) declined 17,000 to 232,000 (vs. the pandemic low of 188,000 on December 4). The 4 week average (red) declined 7,250 to 236,250 (vs. the pandemic low of 199,750 on December 25). Continuing claims (gold, right scale) declined 112,000 to 1,476,000 (not just a new pandemic low, but the lowest number in over 50 years!):
As anticipated, as the Omicron tsunami rolls back out, the recent increase in initial claims has abated, although I still suspect we have seen the lows in initial claims for this expansion. Still, it is consistent with a deceleration in monthly gains in nonfarm payrolls compared with last year.
The decline in continuing claims to a 50 year+ low means that the record tightness in the jobs market isn’t going away anytime fast. There will be continuing upward pressure on wages.