[Programming note: Hopefully I’ll put up a coronavirus update later today.]
Initial claims (blue) declined 18,000 to 215,000 (vs. the pandemic low of 188,000 on December 4). The 4 week average (red) declined 6,000 to 230,500 (vs. the pandemic low of 199,750 on December 25).
Continuing claims (gold, right scale) increased 2,000 to 1,476,000, (vs. 1,474,000 last week, which was the lowest number in over 50 years):
The Omicron tsunami has continued to recede, and with it the recent increase in initial claims. I still suspect we have seen the lows in initial claims for this expansion.
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.
I don’t think this has any particular ramifications for tomorrow’s jobs report, but in general I am expecting monthly job gains to slow over the coming few months.