Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weekly Unemployment Claims

by Bill McBride on 12/18/2008 09:24:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending Dec. 13, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 554,000, a decrease of 21,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 575,000. The 4-week moving average was 543,750, an increase of 2,750 from the previous week's revised average of 541,000.
...
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Dec. 6 was 4,384,000, a decrease of 47,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,431,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows weekly claims since 1968.

The four week moving average is at 543,750; the highest since December 1982.

Continued claims are now at 4.384 million.


Weekly Unemployment Claims This graph shows the 4-week average of initial weekly unemployment claims (blue, right scale), and total insured unemployed (red, left scale), both as a percent of covered employment.

This normalizes the data for changes in insured employment.

By these measures, the current recession is already worse than the '01 recession, and close to the '90/'91 recession.

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