Chart of the day: Initial jobless claims point to strong jobs report

REAL ECONOMY BLOG | April 21, 2022

Authored by RSM US LLP

New filings for jobless claims last week fell slightly, to 184,000, holding steady below the average pre-pandemic level for the 12th straight week. The number of new claims points to a labor market that remains tight, with layoffs at multi-decade lows.

The data released by the Labor Department on Thursday captured unemployment benefit claims for the week ending April 16—the same period that will be covered by the monthly jobs report to be released in the first week of May.

That means we should expect another solid month of job gains for April. But it will not likely change the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise interest rates by a half percentage point at its meeting on May 15 and 16. Depending on how strong the jobs report turns out to be, the likelihood of similar rate hikes after that meeting should become clearer.

Initial jobless claims

Given the Fed’s hawkish tone in recent months, labor demand will become the first casualty in the fight against inflation as the economy moderates because of rising rates. But it will take six to nine months for the impact of rising rates to be felt throughout the economy.

During that time, we should expect initial jobless claims to hover not too far below the pre-pandemic level as the imbalance between labor demand and supply has most likely peaked.

Our preferred measure for the long-term trend in jobless claims, the 13-week moving average, continued to decline yet at a slower pace since January compared to the October-December period of last year. We expect the trend to continue to slow in the coming months.

The takeaway

The number of continuing claims for the week ending April 9 declined from 1.48 million to 1.42 million. With the labor force participation rate rising, it is likely that many have stayed off unemployment benefit programs and found new jobs.

Let's Talk!

Call us at +1 213.873.1700, email us at or fill out the form below and we'll contact you to discuss your specific situation.

  • Topic Name:
  • Should be Empty:

This article was written by Tuan Nguyen and originally appeared on 2022-04-21.
2022 RSM US LLP. All rights reserved.

RSM US Alliance provides its members with access to resources of RSM US LLP. RSM US Alliance member firms are separate and independent businesses and legal entities that are responsible for their own acts and omissions, and each is separate and independent from RSM US LLP. RSM US LLP is the U.S. member firm of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax, and consulting firms. Members of RSM US Alliance have access to RSM International resources through RSM US LLP but are not member firms of RSM International. Visit us for more information regarding RSM US LLP and RSM International. The RSM logo is used under license by RSM US LLP. RSM US Alliance products and services are proprietary to RSM US LLP.

​Vasquez & Company LLP is a proud member of the RSM US Alliance, a premier affiliation of independent accounting and consulting firms in the United States. RSM US Alliance provides our firm with access to resources of RSM US LLP, the leading provider of audit, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market. RSM US LLP is a licensed CPA firm and the U.S. member of RSM International, a global network of independent audit, tax and consulting firms with more than 43,000 people in over 120 countries.

Our membership in RSM US Alliance has elevated our capabilities in the marketplace, helping to differentiate our firm from the competition while allowing us to maintain our independence and entrepreneurial culture. We have access to a valuable peer network of like-sized firms as well as a broad range of tools, expertise and technical resources.

For more information on how ​Vasquez & Company LLP can assist you, please call +1 213.873.1700.

Subscribe to receive important updates from our Insights and Resources.

  • Should be Empty: