Hiring sign is displayed outside of a retail store in Vernon Hills, Ill., on Nov. 13, 2021. Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week with the number of Americans collecting unemployment at historically low levels. Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 to 200,000 for the week ending May 28, the Labor Department reported Thursday, June 2, 2022. First-time applications generally track the number of layoffs. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week as the U.S. job market remains robust despite four-decade high inflation and a myriad of other economic pressures.
Applications for jobless aid for the week ending June 18 fell to 229,000, a decline of 2,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications generally mirror the number of layoffs.
The four-week average for claims, which smooths out some of the week-to-week volatility, rose by 4,500 from the previous week, to 223,500.
The total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits for the week ending June 11 was 1,315,000, up by 5,000 from the previous week. That figure has hovered near 50-year lows for months.
Much of the recent job security and wage gains that Americans have enjoyed recently has been offset by inflation levels not seen in four decades.
Earlier in June, the Labor Department reported that consumer prices surged 8.6% last month — even more than in April — from a year earlier. The Federal Reserve responded last week by raising its main borrowing rate — its main tool for fighting rising prices — by three-quarters of a point. That increase is on top of a half-point increase in early May.
Three weeks ago the government reported that U.S. employers added 390,000 jobs in May, extending a streak of solid hiring that has bolstered an economy under pressure. Though the job growth in May was healthy, it was the lowest monthly gain in a year and there have been signs that more layoffs could be coming, at least in some sectors.
Jobless claims applications the past few weeks, though still relatively low, have been the highest since the first weeks of 2022.
Online automotive retailer Carvana said last month that it’s letting about 2,500 workers go, roughly 12% of its workforce. Online real estate broker Redfin, under pressure from a housing market that’s cooled due to higher interest rates, said last week that it was laying off 8% of its workers.
Those cuts have extended to companies in the cryptocurrency sector with prices for bitcoin and other digital assets cratering in recent months.
Crypto trading platform Coinbase Global said last week it planned to cut about 1,100 jobs, or approximately 18% of its global workforce, as part of a restructuring in order to help manage its operating expenses in response to current market conditions.7 Mid-Cap Stocks to Buy For When the Fed Gets Serious
How should you be investing in 2022? It's a near certainty that the Fed will continue to pursue a more hawkish monetary policy for the rest of 2022. And right now the market is expecting interest rate increases to start in March 2022.
The thought that the Fed will take aggressive measures to combat inflation is still weighing on growth-minded investors? After all, stocks still look like the place to be.
If you're an investor looking to maximize your growth this year, you should first make sure you have a base of blue-chip stocks. These stocks can deliver solid returns no matter how the broader market goes. However, after that, you should still have your eyes on growth. And mid-cap stocks may be just the place to look.
Mid-cap stocks are defined by companies with a market capitalization between $2 billion and $10 billion. These companies are still in the growth phase so they're putting their profits to work in growing their business.
The recent market sell-off has put many of these stocks at attractive points. And while many of them still don't qualify as oversold by technical measures, they are offering significant upside at their current price points.
At some point the Fed is likely to get serious about whipping inflation. When it does, investors will become even more selective than they already are. By investing in these mid-cap stocks, you can stay one step ahead of whatever comes next.View the "7 Mid-Cap Stocks to Buy For When the Fed Gets Serious"