Data from the Labor Department that came out last Thursday covering the week that ended the prior Friday, so on January 14, shows a decrease in new claims for unemployment assistance on both a seasonally adjusted and an unadjusted basis.
In the seasonally adjusted data, the week ending January 14 saw 190,000 initial claims for unemployment help — which is obviously leaps and bounds below the kinds of one-week highs seen much earlier, as COVID-19 upended the American economy, with Trump often seeming more focused on his political disputes than promoting proven health initiatives. The seasonally adjusted total was 15,000 below the latest figures in the same metric for the preceding week. In the unadjusted data, the Labor Department reported 285,575 initial claims for assistance in the week of January 14, which was 53,582 below the latest figures for the prior week. The figure is also substantially below what the United States saw in the same week in 2022, when 336,424 initial claims were recorded, per the unadjusted figures.
The numbers, of course, suggest that Americans continue to see the opportunity for success in finding and holding onto a job — which is borne out by the relatively recent survey data from YouGov in which significantly more Americans rated inflation as a more pressing problem for the country than unemployment compared to the other way around. The finding points to the positive signs seen in the labor market with the Biden team in place, leading to what is evidently a lack of sweeping and systematic concern. Federal figures have also shown positive signs in the fight against inflation, on which gas prices significantly weigh. Per the same federal department, last month saw a 0.1 percent drop in overall prices from the preceding month. The jump from the same month a year prior was much higher, but it remained below recently available data showing the one-year rate of price increases across G-20 economies in November.
The November Labor Department data was also below that more expansive, international rate. The economic calamity that some predicted would accompany a Biden presidency just has not materialized, leaving Republicans — like Trump, who continues ostensibly preparing a bid for the presidency in 2024 — to run on what would apparently be culture war issues, but how many people really want to keep hearing Donald Trump lie about the well-documented integrity of the last presidential election?
The labor market remains resilient: initial jobless claims declined to 190K, matching its recent low. pic.twitter.com/TyWFM911J9
— Kathy Jones (@KathyJones) January 19, 2023
Image: Gage Skidmore/ Creative Commons