Thursday, February 05, 2009

Unemployment Claims Highest Since 1982

by Bill McBride on 2/05/2009 08:42:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending Jan. 31, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 626,000, an increase of 35,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 591,000. The 4-week moving average was 582,250, an increase of 39,000 from the previous week's revised average of 543,250.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Jan. 24 was 4,788,000, an increase of 20,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,768,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows weekly claims and continued claims since 1971.

The four week moving average is at 582,250, the highest since 1982.

Continued claims are now at 4.79 million - another new record - just above the previous all time peak of 4.71 million in 1982.

Weekly Unemployment Claims The second 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.

A very weak report ...