Thursday, June 4, 2009

Weekly Jobless Claims

Headline line number came in as expected: 621,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits. This marks the 18th consecutive week the number has come in over 600,000 and the 4 week moving average climbed to 631,250 (the increase is due to the week of 5/2/09 dropping out of the average: only 605,000 initial claims that week).

It is certainly possible that we have witnessed the apex of initial claims. However, this is completely different than saying more jobs are being created.

Continuing claims actually showed signs of abating: 6,735,000 from the previous week's 6,750,000 (revised lower). This ended the record string of increases and is the first ray of light for this data series. The IUR held at 5.0% (the previous week's rate was revised lower by 0.1%), although it is not clear from the report if this was from the expiration of benefits or people finding jobs.

Now that I think about it, that is something that needs to be considered: as the recession lingers, unless the benefits are extended, this number could drop and not signal a jobs recovery. This is getting complicated......

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