Thursday, September 17, 2009

Weekly Unemployment Claims: Stuck at High Level

by Bill McBride on 9/17/2009 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports weekly unemployment insurance claims decreased to 545,000:

In the week ending Sept. 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 545,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 557,000. The 4-week moving average was 563,000, a decrease of 8,750 from the previous week's revised average of 571,750.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Sept. 5 was 6,230,000, an increase of 129,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,101,000.
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 8,750 to 563,000, and is now 95,750 below the peak in April.

It appears that initial weekly claims have peaked for this cycle. However it seems that weekly claims are stuck at a very high level; weekly claims have been in the high 500 thousands for almost 3 months. This indicates continuing 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.

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