U.S. jobless claims drop to five-week low of 209,000, but the report also contains hints of trouble

The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to a five-week low of 209,000, indicating the U.S. labor market is still quite sturdy, but the report also contained a hint of trouble.

New jobless claims dropped 24,000 from a revised 233,000 in the prior week, the government said Wednesday. Economists had forecast new claims in the week ending Nov. 18 to total 229,000.

The Federal Reserve has raised its benchmark interest rate 11 times since March 2022 to slow the economy and rein in inflation that hit a four-decade high last year. The job market and economic growth remained surprisingly resilient, defying predictions that the economy would slip into a recession this year.

But hiring has slowed from the breakneck pace of 2021 and 2022 when the economy roared back unexpectedly from the COVID-19 recession. Employers added a record 606,000 jobs a month in 2021 and nearly 400,000 last year. So far in 2023, monthly hiring has averaged a still-solid 239,000, but it’s come in below 200,000 in three of the last five months.

Employers are also posting fewer job openings.

“But job growth remains strong, the unemployment rate remains historically low, and businesses have yet to start reducing their workforce in a significant way,″ said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High-Frequency Economics. “We expect some softening in labor demand going forward as the effects of restrictive monetary policy spread more broadly through the economy,″

At the same time, inflation has decelerated markedly. In June 2022, consumer prices were up 9.1% from a year earlier. Last month, year-over-year inflation was down to 3.2%, though it remained above the Fed’s 2% target.

The combination of a slowing but durable job market and tumbling inflation rates has raised hopes that the Fed can manage a so-called soft landing — slowing economic activity enough to control inflation without tipping the United States into a recession.

As a project manager, you already have enough on your plate. There are risks to plan for and mitigate; resources to distribute and organize; budgets to plan for the year ahead; stakeholder meetings to schedule and attend; and daily operations and tasks to coordinate. It all starts getting hectic, especially towards the year end.

Thankfully, the rapid evolution of artificial intelligence makes the role of a project manager so much easier. You can be more efficient in your work, keep track of project milestones and deadlines, be more confident with your decision-making and planning, and get more creative with your resources when you boost your workflow by integrating AI tools.

How To Find The Best AI Tool For Project Management

Ultimately, you want to ensure that you are comfortable using an AI-powered project management tool. There are tons of apps and software that exist, but not all of them will resonate with you or will be suitable for your type of work. So you need to begin with determining what aspects of your work you need automated, what are the key features you require, and evaluate the user experience based on reviews of people who have used it successfully in their project management.

And of course, pricing is a critical factor. Find software that fits in your budget, but is not cheap and tacky, lacking important features such as prompt customer support if needed. The tool you select needn't be expensive, but it must strike a balance and fit snugly into your workflow.

Here is a list of eight AI tools you can consider deploying for your everyday tasks as a project manager:


Ayanza is a software tool that helps project managers manage projects from implementation to completion. It enables you to streamline your workflow and better coordinate your teams and OKRs, bolstering team productivity through its collaborative platform. It boasts the ability to streamline communication in real-time, with a focus on team health and establishing clear objectives with project visibility together. Subscription plan prices range from $0 to $15, with enterprise pricing not disclosed.


The focus of step size is project management software but for software development. So this is especially suited to technical project managers. It gives you in-depth summaries of sprint or Kanban activities and progress and integrates seamlessly with GitHub, Jira, and Slack. Subscriptions begin at $29 a month.


Zapier is an all-in-one popular project management software that has the ability to connect to approximately 2000 applications without in-depth technical expertise, thus creating a fully automated and integrated workflow that saves you plenty of time as a busy project manager and reduces repetitive work. Monthly subscriptions start at $0, with the highest tier being $69 and then the enterprise level.


Derrick Hathaway, a sales director at VEM Medical, notes a lesser-noticed feature of Trello's project management software that aids him and his teams in their work: "While Trello itself isn't obscure, the Butler Power-Up adds a powerful AI-driven automation layer. We've set up customized workflows that automatically move cards, assign tasks, and send notifications based on specific triggers. This has streamlined our project management and saved us hours of manual work, ensuring tasks progress smoothly." Subscriptions range from $0 to $17.50 and beyond depending on the number of users in your team.

Kuki Chatbot

In his role as founder at Fursonafy, Samson Baxter has found that "customer support is crucial, and Kuki provides AI-driven chatbots that can handle common queries, bookings, and lead capturing, ensuring you're always responsive without being tied to your desk." This helps you maintain high efficiency levels and concentrate on getting essential work done.


Notion is another popular software that is essentially an all-in-one workspace, as some users refer to it. It enables note-taking, content discovery, and "automation that streamline task flows, bug reports, database entries, and document outlines," according to its website. It also allows for integration with Slack and GitHub. Monthly plans start at $0 up to $15, and then enterprise pricing.


Financial advisor Howard Goldman recommends Taskade for task tracking, project management, and collaboration. "It also assists teams in remaining organized, meeting deadlines, and effectively managing financial responsibilities and projects. This tool helps me stay organized and on top of my game," he says. Taskade AI is powered by GPT-4 and includes an AI chat assistant, AI summarizer, AI workflow generator, and other AI capabilities.


Fellow is a meeting booster app. It optimizes productivity and can be adapted to take meeting notes, and hold 1:1s. You can set meeting agendas in advance and track meeting effectiveness. Pricing ranges from $0 to $15 for monthly subscriptions, and then enterprise plans.

With the plethora of AI tools to boost your project management capabilities, you can be less stressed at work, look forward to more accurate predictions, analysis, and suggestions, boost project team morale, and most importantly, achieve higher success rates with project outcomes.

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