There's been no let up in demand for labor, judging by jobless claims which remain right at record lows. Initial claims fell 4,000 in the May 13 week to a lower-than-expected a 232,000 level that pulls the 4-week average down 2,750 to 240,750. The May 13 week was also the sample week for the May employment report and a comparison with the sample week of the April employment report shows further improvement: down 11,000 from April 15 week of 243,000, down 2,000 from 4-week average of 242,750.
The continuing claims side of the report tells the same story, down 22,000 in lagging data for the May 6 week to 1.898 million. This is a 29-year low for this reading. The 4-week average is down 20,000 to 1.946 million which is a 43-year low. The unemployment rate for insured workers (which excludes job leavers and re-entrants) is at 1.4 percent.
There are no special factors in today's report, one that puts the first piece in place for what looks to be another healthy employment report for May.