Overseas Headlines – May 20, 2021

United States:

Initial Jobless Claims in U.S. Decline to Fresh Pandemic Low

“Applications for U.S. state unemployment insurance fell last week to a fresh pandemic low, signaling steady improvement in the job market as remaining business restrictions are lifted. Initial claims in regular state programs decreased by 34,000 to 444,000 in the week ended May 15, Labor Department data showed Thursday. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 450,000 applications. The prior week’s figure was revised up slightly, to 478,000.”



Europe Heads for Jobs Crunch That May Be Deeper Than the U.S.’s

“The labor shortage that is hitting the U.S. as the nation rebounds from the pandemic is also coming to Europe, where it could prove even more difficult to fix. Like the U.S., where April’s payroll growth fell far short of expectations, Europe will struggle to match workers with jobs. That’s despite unemployment at more than 7% in the European Union — and more than twice as high in Greece and Spain — which isn’t predicted to return to pre-crisis levels before 2023.”



Japan Exports Surge as Global Trade Rebounds From Dismal 2020

“Japanese exports jumped again, climbing in April by more than a third from last year’s dismal level, as recovering global trade gave a needed boost to an economy that’s stalling at home amid new waves of the coronavirus. Surging car and auto parts shipments helped power a 38% rise in Japan’s exports from a year earlier, according to figures Thursday from the finance ministry that beat all but one forecast from 26 surveyed analysts. The consensus was for a 30.8% gain.”



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