Posted by: Josh Lehner | December 21, 2021

Initial Claims Return to Normal (Graph of the Week)

Our social lives have been disrupted, our spending habits have shifted, and the way we go about our jobs is different for many as well. However, one piece of good news as we head towards the home stretch of the holiday season is at least on thing has returned to normal. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are all the way back down to where they were back in 2018 and 2019. In fact they’re even a bit lower. We’re seeing record low levels of layoffs in the economy for this time of year.

Note: There is a normal seasonal pattern to initial claims. They rise in the fall and early winter and stay elevated into the new year. This is in part due to seasonal layoffs in sectors like leisure and hospitality winding down from its summer highs, and construction as outdoor work is harder with colder/wetter weather, and then as seasonal holiday shopping related jobs end as well.

Given that firms are trying to attract and retain workers as much as they can, it shouldn’t be a real surprise to see such low levels of layoffs. That said, it sure is nice to see. Cheers!

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