Jobless claims plunge to 199K, lowest level since 1969

https://thehill.com/policy/finance/582950-jobless-claims-plunge-to-199k-lowest-level-since-1969

For the 1st time during the pandemic, initial UI claims have dipped below pre-crisis levels, falling to 199,000 (vs the Feb 2020 avg: 211,700). Layoffs are hitting new lows amid ongoing labor shortages as employers look to hold onto hard-to-find workers.

New weekly claims for jobless aid plunged to the lowest level in more than 50 years last week, according to data released Wednesday by the Labor Department.

In the week ending Nov. 20, there were 199,000 initial applications for unemployment insurance, according to the seasonally adjusted figures, a decline of 71,000 from the previous week. Claims fell to the lowest level since November 1969 and are now well below the pre-pandemic trough of 225,000 applications received the week of March 14, 2020.

The steep drop in unemployment applications comes after several strong months of job growth and rising consumer spending heading into the holiday shopping season. While high inflation has stressed many household budgets, U.S. job growth, economic production, stock values and corporate profits have all steamed ahead.

“Getting new claims below the 200,000 level for the first time since the pandemic began is truly significant, portraying further improvement,” said Mark Hamrick, chief economic analyst at Bankrate.com.

“The strains associated with higher prices, shortages of supplies and available job candidates are weighed against low levels of layoffs, wage gains and a falling unemployment rate,” he continued. “Growth will likely be above par for the foreseeable future, but within the context of historically high inflation which should relax its grip on the economy to some degree in the year ahead.”

The U.S. added 531,000 jobs in October and job growth in the previous months was revised substantially higher after a string of what first appeared to be meager gains. While businesses have struggled to hire enough workers to meet surging consumer demand, the decline in jobless claims appears to be a sign of an improving labor market.

“Layoffs are hitting new lows amid ongoing labor shortages as employers look to hold onto hard-to-find workers,” said Daniel Zhao, senior economist at Glassdoor, in a Wednesday thread on Twitter.

Even so, Zhao said the sharp decline below pre-pandemic levels may have been due to a lower than expected seasonal impact on hiring.

“As you can see from the above chart, this is in part due to the seasonal adjustment expecting a much larger jump in non-seasonally adjusted claims, so this dip below pre-crisis levels may be short-lived,” he explained.

How to Talk about Vaccines at Thanksgiving

May be an image of 6 people and text that says 'How to talk about vaccines at Thanksgiving The big thing to know when talking to family and friends about vaccine falsehoods during the holidays: It's better to respond with facts than to offer corrections.'

“Please pass the green beans.” “What kind of pie is that?”“What about spike proteins!?”These are some of the phrases that may be uttered during your Thanksgiving and holiday dinners this season. But! We have prepared a glossary for you. Swipe through a quick guide to some of the most misused terms around vaccines that PolitiFact has noticed in our fact-checking. And because we know that shouts of “that’s wrong!” don’t go over smooth like gravy, we’re including an expert’s advice on how to talk about vaccine falsehoods with family and friends.The big thing to know: It’s better to respond with facts than to offer corrections.”If they said something like ‘the vaccine is dangerous,’ include a statistic about how 75% of the people in their state have gotten vaccinated and none have died, or how severe and dangerous COVID-19 is,” said Rupali Limaye, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. “And, ultimately, make sure you’re saying it all with empathy.”

May be an image of text that says '"Spike protein" The human body and other organisms are made up of a variety of proteins, and SARS-COV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has its own. The virus' spike protein, which allows the virus to penetrate cells and cause infection, has sharp bumps that protrude from the surface of the virus' outer envelopes. COVID-19 vaccines introduce a piece of the protein- but not the harmful part of the virus which the immune system quickly identifies, attacks and destroys as a foreign invader.'
May be an image of text that says '"mRNA" The Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines use messenger RNA to deliver an instruction manual to cells for making the coronavirus' spike protein. They're different from conventiona vaccines that use part of a bacterium or virus to induce protein production. The mRNA is fragile and quickly broken down in the body once the cells learn the blueprint, which is usually within three days of receiving the vaccine. The molecule does not we repeat, does not enter the nucleus of cells and alter a person's DNA.'
May be an image of text that says '"VAERS" VAERS stands for the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System, a critical reporting tool for the federal government to collect and analyze data on after-effects from all vaccines, not just COVID-19. Unlike other government data sources, VAERS is designed so that anyone- parents, patients and health care professionals can report health effects that occur after a vaccination, whether or not those effects were caused by the vaccine. The reports aren't verified before they're entered, and anyone with a computer can access the data.'
May be an image of text that says '"Syncytin-1" Syncytin-1, a protein found in humans and some animals, is most known for helping develop the placenta, the temporary organ that helps nourish a fetus during pregnancy. Syncytin-1 and the coronavirus spike protein have almost nothing in common, making the vaccine highly unlikely to trigger a reaction. "If someone says they heard the vaccine causes infertility, would just respond with something direct- like that there are no studies that show a link between the vaccines and infertility Zero," an expert said.'
May be an image of text that says '"Ivermectin" vermectir is an anti-parasitic medication that has been widely touted as a COVID-19 treatment despite health authorities warning against COVID-19 patients self-medicating with the drug. When people started to believe it could treat COVID- 19, some of them ingested forms of the drug made for animals, causing a dramatic uptick in calls to poison control. Officials warn that more research is still needed on ivermectin's effectiveness as a COVID-19 treatment.'
May be an image of text that says 'A final word about words The best way to talk through different views on vaccines with loved ones is by making your point in a personal context that takes the focus off them. "Think of family member they want to protect, so it's not all about them," said Rupali Limaye, an associate scientist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health." "Like 'Hey, I'm really concerned about grandma and just want to make sure we are doing all we can to protect her. It leaves the pressure off them but they still have some skin in the game."'