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U.S. Jobless Claims Held Steady at 184,000 Last Week, but Philly Fed Plunges

Economic Indicators Apr 21, 2022 09:00
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© Reuters.

By Geoffrey Smith 

Investing.com -- The number of people filing initial claims for jobless benefits held steady last week, reflecting a labor market that remains tight as a drum, increasing signs of a slowdown on the horizon due to surging inflation. 

Initial jobless claims inched down to 184,000 from an upwardly-revised 186,000 the week before, but remained close to the 60-year low they posted at the start of the month. Initial claims have now been clearly below 200,000 a week for the last four weeks.

Continuing claims, meanwhile, fell by more than expected to 1.417 million, from 1.475 million a week earlier. 

The tightness of the labor market - also reflected in strong average earnings growth in recent months - is one of the main factors weighing on the Federal Reserve's mind as it prepares to raise interest rates again at its meeting next month. San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly on Wednesday highlighted the "frothy" conditions as regards hiring as one of the key reasons why she thinks the case for a 50 basis-point hike in the fed funds rate in May is both "solid" and "complete".

Inflationary pressures were in evidence elsewhere on Thursday, as the Philadelphia Federal Reserve released its monthly manufacturing survey. The prices paid component in the survey's main index of activity rose to a new 43-year high of 84.6. The overall index fell by more than expected to 17.6 from 27.4 in March, as more businesses took a dim view of future conditions. Capital spending plans and new orders also fell sharply.

The Philly Fed's survey tends to have more forward-looking elements to it than the weekly jobless claims numbers. Labor market data are in most cases seen as a lagging indicator of economic trends.

U.S. Jobless Claims Held Steady at 184,000 Last Week, but Philly Fed Plunges
 

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