Thursday, November 06, 2008

Continued Unemployment Claims at Highest Since 1983

by Bill McBride on 11/06/2008 09:01:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending Nov. 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 481,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 485,000. The 4-week moving average was 477,000, unchanged from the previous week's revised average of 477,000.
...
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Oct. 25 was 3,843,000, an increase of 122,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,721,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows weekly claims. The four moving average is at 477,000. This is a very high level, and indicates significant weakness in the labor market.

Continued claims are now at 3.84 million, the highest level since 1983.

Continued Unemployment Claims The second graph shows continued claims since 1989.

Note: Continued claims hit 4.7 million during the 1982 recession (not shown), although the population was much smaller then. The unemployment rate peaked at 10.8% in 1982 (compared to 6.1% last month).

This suggests a weak payroll report tomorrow.