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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Weekly Claims Hit 5 Year High

by Calculated Risk on 7/31/2008 08:30:00 AM

Here is the data from the Department of Labor for the week ending July 26th.

In the week ending July 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 448,000, an increase of 44,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 404,000.
Weekly Unemployment Continued Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows the continued claims since 1989.

Notice that following the previous two recessions, continued claims stayed elevated for a couple of years after the official recession ended - suggesting the weakness in the labor market lingered. The same will probably be true for the current recession (probable).

Weekly Unemployment Claims The second graph shows the weekly claims and the four week moving average of weekly unemployment claims since 1989.

Weekly unemployment claims were the highest since April 2003.

The four week moving average has been trending upwards for the last few months, and the level is now solidly above the possible recession level (approximately 350K).

Labor related gauges are at best coincident indicators, and this indicator suggests the economy is in recession.

Note: I'll have a post on GDP and investment later this morning.