Thursday, March 17, 2011

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decline to 385,000

by Calculated Risk on 3/17/2011 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending March 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 385,000, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 401,000. The 4-week moving average was 386,250, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised average of 393,250.
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 decreased this week by 7,000 to 386,250.

This is the 3rd consecutive week with the 4-week average below the 400,000 level, and although there is nothing magical about 400,000, this is a positive step for the labor market. Unfortunately the recent JOLTS data indicated that hiring hasn't picked up significantly yet, even as layoffs and discharges have slowed.