Jobless Claims Preview – Thursday 20th January 2022

The January Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting next week may inspire a little bit of DeJa’Vu. Just like last January, the U.S. finds itself amid a massive Covid surge, thanks to a nasty new variant of the virus. 

At the January 2022 FOMC meeting, we expect that Powell will set the table for multiple interest rate hikes this year. 

Today, we have the release of the weekly new jobless claims which are likely to hold steady near 230,000, with some renewed virus-related disruptions at least temporarily impeding the labour market’s recovery.   

Initial unemployment claims posted a surprise jump in early January, spiking to the highest since November. Still, at well below 250,000, new weekly jobless claims have come in at a weekly rate that has rivalled pre-virus levels for more than a month, as employers attempt to keep their existing workforces amid widespread shortages. Claims had reached a 52-year low of 188,000 in December and moved up only modestly since then.  

The most recent move higher in new claims may have been due to some impacts from the Omicron variant and ultimately prove temporary, according to some economists.  We all await the end of the coronavirus – sooner rather than later! 

The Labour Department is set to release its latest weekly jobless claims report Thursday at 15.30 GMT+2. Have your trading charts ready! 

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