by Harry Wilmerding
The number of Americans who filed new unemployment claims decreased to 290,000 last week as employers attempt to hold onto workers amid struggles with inflation, supply chain disruptions and labor shortages.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics figure released Thursday shows a 6,000 claim decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending on Oct. 9, when jobless claims dipped below 300,000 for the first time since March 2020.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones believed jobless claims would rise to 300,000 Thursday, according to CNBC.
Claims are expected to return to their pre-pandemic low by the end of 2021, Robert Frick, an economist at Navy Federal Credit Union, told The Wall Street Journal. “Employers are clinging to employees given it’s so hard to hire, it’s so hard to retain.”
The US economy recorded an increase of 194,000 jobs in September, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.8%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced on Oct. 8.
Meanwhile, inflation continues to plague the country as the Consumer Price Index increased 0.4% in September, bringing the key inflation indicator’s year-over-year increase to 5.4%, the largest spike since January 1991.
Experts surveyed by the WSJ the high inflation will last well into 2022 as supply chain bottlenecks worsen, driving up prices and curbing production. Economists believe the consumer price inflation will drop to 3.4% by June 2022 and 2.6% by the end of 2022.
Retail sales increased 0.7% in September, crushing experts’ estimates of 0.2%, according to the Census Bureau. Economists see the spike in spending as a sign of consumer strength heading into the fourth quarter, according to the WSJ.
“This is a strong number. People are spending all this money. The federal government is pouring money into the economy, so its a good sign people are spending,” Stephen Moore, a former economic adviser in the Trump administration, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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Harry Wilmerding is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.
Photo “Unemployment Insurance Claims Office” by Bytemarks. CC BY 2.0.