Thursday, April 16, 2009

Unemployment Insurance: Continued Claims above 6 Million

by Bill McBride on 4/16/2009 08:47:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending April 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 610,000, a decrease of 53,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 663,000. The 4-week moving average was 651,000, a decrease of 8,500 from the previous week's revised average of 659,500.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 4 was 6,022,000, an increase of 172,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 5,850,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows weekly claims and continued claims since 1971. This is not adjusted for changes in population (I'll add that graph next week).

The four week moving average is at 651,000.

Continued claims are now at 6.02 million - the all time record.

The decline to 610,000 initial claims this week is potentially good news, but this is just one week of data, and this series is very volatile. As I mentioned in End of Recessions and Unemployment Claims, the four-week average of initial weekly unemployment claims is a closely watched indicator of the possible end of a recession. However, we need to see the four-week average decline by 20,000 to 40,000 or more from the peak before we get excited - and so far the four-week average is only off 8,500 from the peak of 659,500 last week.

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