Jobless Claims (4-wk. Avg.) Fall to 18-Month Low
The decline in initial claims last week pushed them into a range that analysts reckon signals labor market stability. The labor market has lagged the economy's recovery from its worst downturn since the 1930s, but payrolls are expected to grow this month as the government steps up hiring for the 2010 census.
The four-week moving average of new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 11,000 to 453,750."
Adjusted for the size of the labor market, jobless claims (4-week average) have now fallen to around 0.30% of the labor force. During the last two recessions (1990-1991 and 2001), that level of jobless claims (as a share of the labor force) was reached when the recessions had definitely ended, and in both cases signalled the beginning of the end to the two "jobless recoveries" that followed those two recessions. More analysis to follow on this topic.