Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weekly Unemployment Claims Increase

by Calculated Risk on 1/22/2009 08:52:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending Jan. 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 589,000, an increase of 62,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 527,000. The 4-week moving average was 519,250, unchanged from the previous week's revised average of 519,250.
...
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Jan. 10 was 4,607,000, an increase of 97,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,510,000. The 4-week moving average was 4,559,750, an increase of 58,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,501,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

The first graph shows weekly claims and continued claims since 1971.

The four week moving average is at 519,250; a decline from the recent peak of 558,750
in December.

Continued claims are now at 4.61 million, just below the high time peak of 4.71 million in 1982.

Weekly Unemployment Claims The second graph shows the 4-week average of initial weekly unemployment claims (blue, right scale), and total insured unemployed (red, left scale), both as a percent of covered employment.

This normalizes the data for changes in insured employment.

As I've noted before that by these measures, the current recession is already worse than the '01 recession, and about the same as the '90/'91 recession - but far less than the severe recessions of the early '70s and early '80s.