The labor market and baseball are on the menu for today.
Initial claims for unemployment fell to 444,000 last week, which beat estimates and set yet another pandemic-era low. One year ago, over 2.1 million claims were filed—how’s that for progress?
This data is certainly good news, but not too surprising given that more vaccinations are leading states to reopen their economies further. The real question is if all this progress will lead to more job growth going forward, better than what we saw in April.
As avid readers of The Line, you’ll remember that last month payrolls rose by only 266,000, instead of the over one million expected. This weak job growth occurred despite a record eight million jobs being posted in March.
Many economists, including this one, believe that enhanced unemployment benefits were keeping many from rejoining the workforce. Companies kept raising wages and offering signing bonuses to attract workers, but were still having problems filling positions.
Since the April employment report came out, many elected officials have tried to address this issue. Last week, President Biden warned people that they risked losing their benefits if they failed to take a “suitable job.” Many governors have taken more direct action in the past two weeks, with 20 states announcing that they are ending the enhanced $300 weekly federal benefit.
Will this translate to a big job gain this month? My money is on yes, but only time will tell.
On Wednesday night, Corey Kluber threw the sixth no-hitter this year, just one night after Spencer Turnbull no-hit the Mariners. This is the 12th no-hitter in Yankees history.
As a Yankees fan, I feel obligated to point out the Mets only have one no-hitter, even though several former Mets threw a bunch after they left. Nolan Ryan’s seven are the most notable, along with the no-hitters Dwight Gooden and David Cone pitched for the Yankees. Ha.
Enough of the Mets-bashing, Greg, what does this have to do with economics?
Absolutely nothing, but here are some interesting facts about the no-nos thrown so far this year courtesy of ESPN:
- This is the first time there have been six no-hitters before June.
- The modern record for no-hitters in a season is only seven.
- Three teams have been no-hit twice in 2021 (Mariners, Indians, Rangers), which has never been done before.
- Five of the no-hitters were pitched on the road—also never done before.
Have a great weekend.