Thursday, March 31, 2011

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 388,000

by Calculated Risk on 3/31/2011 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending March 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 388,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 394,000. The 4-week moving average was 394,250, a increase of 3,250 from the previous week's revised average of 391,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in graph gallery.

This graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims for the last 40 years. The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased this week to 394,250.

The number of weekly claims for last week was revised up - so this was reported as a decline. But what really matters is this is the 5th consecutive week with the 4-week average below the 400,000 level. There is nothing magical about 400,000, but this is a small positive step for the labor market.