Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims as a Percent of Labor Force

by Bill McBride on 5/14/2015 03:21:00 PM

Earlier I mentioned that the 4-week moving average of weekly claims was the lowest since April 2000. And if the average falls just a little further, the average will be the lowest in over 40 years.

Of course that doesn't take into account the size of the labor force.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1967 as a percent of the labor force.


Click on graph for larger image.

As a percent of the labor force, weekly claims are at an all time record low.

Note: There is a general downward slope to weekly claims - interrupted by periods of recession.  The downward slope is probably related to changes in hiring practices - such as background checks and drug tests, and maybe better planning.