Thursday, July 09, 2009

Weekly Unemployment Claims Decline, Record Continuing Claims

by Calculated Risk on 7/09/2009 08:42:00 AM

Note: The numbers are adjusted for the holiday, but this might still be an aberration.

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 565,000, a decrease of 52,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 617,000. The 4-week moving average was 606,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's revised average of 616,000.
...
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 27 was 6,883,000, an increase of 159,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,724,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows weekly claims and continued claims since 1971.

Continued claims increased to a record 6.88 million.

The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased this week by 10,000, and is now 52,750 below the peak of 13 weeks ago. It appears that initial weekly claims have peaked for this cycle.

However the level of initial claims (over 600 thousand 4-week average) is still very high, indicating significant weakness in the job market.

As a reminder, when looking at this report, I'd focus on the 4-week moving average of initial claims, not continued claims.