Thursday, August 27, 2009

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Still Very High

by Bill McBride on 8/27/2009 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports weekly unemployment insurance claims decreased to 570,000:

In the week ending Aug. 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 570,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 580,000. The 4-week moving average was 566,250, a decrease of 4,750 from the previous week's revised average of 571,000.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Aug. 15 was 6,133,000, a decrease of 119,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,252,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased this week by 4,750 to 566,250, and is now 92,500 below the peak in April. It appears that initial weekly claims have peaked for this cycle.

The number of initial weekly claims is still very high (at 570,000), indicating significant weakness in the job market. The four-week average of initial weekly claims will probably have to fall below 400,000 before the total employment stops falling.