Thursday, October 29, 2009

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims: 530 Thousand

by Bill McBride on 10/29/2009 08:48:00 AM

The DOL reports weekly unemployment insurance claims decreased slightly to 530,000:

In the week ending Oct. 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 530,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 531,000. The 4-week moving average was 526,250, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's unrevised average of 532,250.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Oct. 17 was 5,797,000, a decrease of 148,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 5,945,000.
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 6,000 to 526,250, and is now 132,500 below the peak in April. The significant decline from the peak strongly suggests that initial weekly claims have peaked for this cycle.

However, the key question is: Will claims continue to decline sharply, like following the recessions in the '70s and '80s, or will claims plateau for some time at an elevated level, as happened during the jobless recoveries in the early '90s and '00s?

The level is still very high suggesting continuing job losses ...