US weekly jobless claims rise as productivity plunges at fastest pace in 74 years

Source: Reuters

“New claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased to a more than two-month high last week, but remained at a level consistent with tightening labor market conditions and further wage gains that could keep inflation hot for a while. The report from the Labor Department on Thursday also showed the number of Americans collecting state unemployment checks was the smallest in more than 52 years towards the end of April. Economists brushed off last week’s increase in initial claims, arguing that the data are volatile around moving holidays like Easter, Passover and school spring breaks. … Rising labor costs were reinforced by a third report from the Labor Department showing worker productivity plummeting at its sharpest pace in more than 74 years in the first quarter, suggesting that the Fed cannot, for now, rely on workers being more productive to rein in inflation.” (05/05/22)