While labor market conditions remained tight last week, the number of Americans submitting new claims for unemployment benefits decreased somewhat.
Since falling to more than a 53-year low of 166,000 in March, claims have been holding steady despite indications of some slowdown in the labor market. Most job layoffs have been reported in the technology and housing industries, with the latter seeing a slowdown in activity as mortgage rates rise due to elevated inflation forecasts and Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.
However, the labor market is still very tight generally. At the end of April, there were 11.4 million job opportunities or about two for every unemployed individual. According to economists, in order to restore the equilibrium between labor demand and supply, claims would need to grow over 250,000.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell told lawmakers on Wednesday that the central bank was wholly committed to getting prices under control, even if doing so increased the danger of an economic slowdown. Powell said the central bank is not orchestrating a recession to reduce inflation.
In May, the economy created 390,000 new employment. The claims data also revealed that for the week ending June 11, the number of people getting benefits after a week of assistance grew by 5,000 to 1.315 million.
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