Thursday, June 04, 2009

Unemployment Claims: 621 Thousand

by Calculated Risk on 6/04/2009 08:35:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending May 30, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 621,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 625,000. The 4-week moving average was 631,250, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised average of 627,250.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 23 was 6,735,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,750,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows weekly claims and continued claims since 1971.

Continued claims declined slightly to 6.73 million after increasing for 19 consecutive weeks. This is 5.0% of covered employment.

Note: continued claims peaked at 5.4% of covered employment in 1982 and 7.0% in 1975. So this isn't a record as a percent of covered employment.

The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased this week by 4,000, and is now 27,500 below the peak of 7 weeks ago. There is a reasonable chance that claims have peaked for this cycle, but it is still too early to be sure, and if so, continued claims should peak soon.

The level of initial claims (over 621 thousand) is still very high, indicating significant weakness in the job market.

In other employment news, the Monster Employment Index declined slightly in May:
The Monster Employment Index edged two points lower in May, as U.S. online recruitment activity eased slightly following a seasonal rise in April. Year-over-year, the Index was down 29 percent, a slight improvement from the previous month, indicating the rate of slowdown in the labor market may have stabilized.