Initial jobless claims reflect the number of people filing for unemployment insurance over the last week. A higher number should be read negatively as higher unemployment reduces the productivity of the economy.
Greatly impacted by the spread of COVID-19, the number of initial jobless claims skyrocketed in March but has gradually begun to decrease since then. However, the current level for the beginning of August is over five times the level recorded in December of 2019.
January 14th saw a larger than expected increase in initial jobless claims, causing an uptick in a previously downward trend. As mutations of the virus spread and the pandemic worsens across America, fears concerning the weakening of the labor market are beginning to grow.
The level of initial jobless claims is an excellent indicator of the health of the jobs market, and the economy as a whole. Low levels of claims can signal that companies might have a more difficult time hiring workers, and that workers currently employed will need overtime pay or higher compensation as an enticement. Wage inflation can increase interest rates and decrease the price of bonds and stocks in the investment market, which is bad news to investors and is watched carefully by the Federal Reserve.
What will be the 5-week average of initial jobless claims filed in April 2021?
The resolution criteria for this question will be provided through either the Federal Reserve, or through the reports organized on Econoday’s calendar. This number will reflect the 4-week average of weekly reports for that month. Those data points will include the reporting dates: 2-April, 9-April, 16-April, 23-April, 30-April