The Line: Jobless Claims Rise to Highest Level Since August

2 Min Read

It wasn't the biggest week for economic data, but we found a few things worth sharing. Welcome to the short, but sweet edition of The Line.

The Line: Jobless Claims Rise to Highest Level Since August

That headline isn’t as scary as it seems, since at 231,000 weekly, unemployment claims are still relatively low. But combined with the weaker-than-expected job growth last month, you can’t help but wonder if we are finally seeing cracks in the labor market. We’ll get a better idea of the state of the labor market in a month, when the May employment report comes out.

Does the Fed Have Failure to Communicate?

Yes, I did borrow from Cool Hand Luke—though I feel bad quoting because I still haven’t seen it—which contains the famous line “What we've got here is failure to communicate.”

Does the Fed have this problem? It depends on who you ask.

A group of academic and private Fed watchers recently surveyed by the Brookings Institution's Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy gave the Fed a B+ for its overall communications. That’s not bad, but those people eat, sleep, and breathe “Fedspeak.” How well do they do with the average person?

Not too good. A recent Gallup poll found that just 39% of respondents said they have “a great deal or a fair amount of confidence” in Powell “to do or to recommend the right thing for the economy.” That was up slightly from 36% a year ago, but I would attribute that increase to the reduction in inflation during that time rather than the chairman’s communication skills.

Maybe more people would think higher of the Fed if they spoke in a more direct manner. Here’s a quote from their statement after the January meeting:

“The Committee judges that the risks to achieving its employment and inflation goals are moving into better balance. The economic outlook is uncertain, and the Committee remains highly attentive to inflation risks.”

Instead of that, maybe try this:

“Inflation has come down, but we still have some work to do.”

Just my humble suggestion.

New York is the Richest City in the World

Ok, maybe you knew this already, but we did receive proof this week when Henley & Partners, in partnership with New World Wealth, released their report on the world’s wealthiest cities.

NYC has 349,500 millionaires, 744 centi-millionaires, and 60 billionaires. Over the past 10 years, the number of millionaires living in NYC has jumped by 48%. Second on the list was the Bay Area, which has 305,700 millionaires but 8 more billionaires than New York. The Bay Area has seen its millionaire population rise by 82% over the past decade.

That’s it for this week, have a great weekend and happy Mother’s day to all the moms out there, especially my mom.