U.S. Outlook: More signs of labor market strength & inflation

Scott Anderson
Posted by Scott Anderson
Chief Economist

The good news on the labor market continued this week.

Graph showing a historically-low trend in four-week jobless claims in the U.S. labor market

The four-week average for initial jobless claims is at a historically low 243.5K. We haven’t seen these low levels since the early 1970s, when the labor market was about half the size it is today.

For more on this, see highlights of my report below, followed by a link to the full U.S. Outlook, delivered on May 12.

Key observations:

  • The job openings rate has been higher than both the hiring and separations rates since the end of 2014.
  • On average, there are 1.2 unemployed persons for every open job today, compared to 5.9 in the immediate aftermath of the Great Recession.
  • Robust inflation and labor market data should have bond investors boosting their odds of Fed rate hikes this year and into 2018.
  • The risk of the U.S. economy overshooting full employment and rekindling inflationary pressures is on the rise.

Click here to read my full report.

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