Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jobless Claims (4-wk. Avg.) Fall to 18-Month Low

WASHINGTON, March 25 (Reuters) - "The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance fell sharply last week, while the number of those on continued benefits was the lowest since December 2008, a government report showed on Thursday.

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."

MP: Based on the new revised jobless claims data, the four-week moving average fell to its lowest level last week (543,750) since September 13, 2008, and has now fallen by 175,500 from the peak last April of 643,000. Although there are many predictions of continuing weakness in the labor market, the worst is definitely behind us, and the trend in jobless claims over the last year suggests a gradual return to labor market stability, as the Reuters article reports.

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.

17 Comments:

At 3/25/2010 10:36 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

The problem is that you're relying on faulty statistics. U-6 at least counts those people that your numbers aren't(but still is inaccurate).

Drop people from the unemployment rolls but they still don't have jobs? That's what you call a jobless recovery. That's how it is real.

Thank offshoring for its part for the last few jobless recoveries as well.

 
At 3/25/2010 10:46 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Drop people from the unemployment rolls but they still don't have jobs? That's what you call a jobless recovery. That's how it is real"...

You know sethstorm you bring up a valid point, seriously it is...

Let me ask you, how come you don't set up a blog to discuss it?

I'm not not kidding you because I think you could make it quite interesting...

Give it a thought...

 
At 3/25/2010 11:25 AM, Anonymous Benny The Man said...

die recession, die, die, die!

 
At 3/25/2010 11:33 AM, Blogger James Fraasch said...

The is the same issue I brought up the other day with durable orders.

We are still "net" losing jobs. A gain in jobs won't come until these numbers are about 200,000 or below (st most!).

Sethstorm is right about the faulty statistics. The BLS keeps dropping people from the rolls as if they just don't want to find work. You can bet if someone came and offered them anything that was half of what they might have made before, they would jump at it.

But they have now fallen off the rolls.

And again, don't get me wrong, I am HAPPY JOY JOY that the numbers here are declining. But pinch me when we start to get to positive GROWTH in employment.

Jaes

James

 
At 3/25/2010 12:04 PM, Blogger Michael said...

It's hard to say the worst is over. The Bush era tax cut meant to end the recession after 9/11 are going expire.

The health care law has lots of new taxes that start right away.

The Dem's figuring they are going to lose functional control in November may pass cap and trade as lame ducks or the EPA could go ahead and regulate CO2.

God knows what cities and states are going to do. So the economy faces a lot of harmful policies over the next few years.

 
At 3/25/2010 12:29 PM, Anonymous Cooper said...

You seam to have a typo, or I'm not reading it properly.


The four-week moving average of new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 11,000 to 453,750."


MP: Based on the new revised jobless claims data, the four-week moving average fell to its lowest level last week (543,750)


453,750 vs 543,750

 
At 3/25/2010 12:32 PM, Anonymous Cooper said...

I'm confused or is this a typo


The four-week moving average of new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 11,000 to 453,750."


MP: Based on the new revised jobless claims data, the four-week moving average fell to its lowest level last week (543,750)


453,750 vs 543,750

 
At 3/25/2010 2:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and how many of these new jobs are real or just more bums in government seats?


No pun intended.

 
At 3/25/2010 4:31 PM, Blogger sethstorm said...


and how many of these new jobs are real or just more bums in government seats?

The problem is that it is neither. They simply don't get work. Whether they go into other government programs(or improperly documented work) is anybody's guess.

It doesn't help that the citizen can't do the same thing as multinationals at the same pace. They can't "have their cake and eat it too" by retaining multiple citizenships at a time. Never mind that a multinational is assured safety(by protecting the business with government security), but the individual would not be.

 
At 3/25/2010 8:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I keep hearing on the "news" that employment is a lagging indicator...
hmmm...

How many census workers did the federal government hire that are reflected in these stats?

 
At 3/25/2010 8:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OT...and what about the continuous "weak" bond auctions? That can't be good.

 
At 3/26/2010 12:47 AM, Anonymous Perseus said...

sethstorm is spewing the classic idiot response.

The unemployment rate is based on a SURVEY. It is entirely, unrelated to initial unemployment claims and unrelated to people being "dropped from the rolls." Anyone who took a Principles of Macro class would have this BS dispelled in the first week of class.

Payroll employment is determined by another survey of employers and we have seen relentless job losses. The declining unemployment rate in some states is due to temporary jobs or people leaving the labor force. The decline in initial claims is due to declining eligibility, not from an improving economy.

When we see the first sustained quarterly job growth from the establishment survey for PRIVATE employment, we can finally declare the recession over.

Census workers do not count. I would argue that new government employees do not count either.

 
At 3/26/2010 3:44 AM, Blogger Michael said...

Census workers are going to make the numbers look better. They'll be "employed", but not long enough to be eligible for unemployment when let go by the government.

This same went for the Christmas season workers. They were able to work for a few months, but became ineligible for unemployment.

It's starting to sound like Mark has spent to much time in DC and is adopting government thinking.

 
At 3/26/2010 7:58 AM, Anonymous Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

This was the best weekly report I have seen in well over a year. Not only were first time claims down, but continuing claims were down as well. Most importantly, the Emergency benefits (EUC) were also finally down. All indicators both raw and seasonally adjusted were moving in the right direction.

 
At 3/26/2010 10:25 AM, Blogger sethstorm said...

Perseus said...
You completely missed my point.


Not only were first time claims down, but continuing claims were down as well. Most importantly, the Emergency benefits (EUC) were also finally down. Most importantly, the Emergency benefits (EUC) were also finally down.

It's easy to run people off these programs and claim that. Whether they get work doesn't seem to be a part of those numbers.

When people are actually working (and not marginally attached/permatemp'd or discouraged) then I might believe the unemployment rate is going down.

 
At 3/26/2010 8:44 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Thank offshoring for its part for the last few jobless recoveries as well

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Bite me, seth. this has been disproven in front of you time and time again, you parrot the same load of crap like a broken vinyl record. You're boring. Get a new schtick.

 
At 3/26/2010 8:49 PM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

> Census workers do not count. I would argue that new government employees do not count either.

Yes, but the preposterous failures of modern education to provide even the most basic skills is not the topic, is it?

8oP

Joking aside, yeah, I agree, the government hiring temporary workers for the census is not a solution in general. It certainly does help THEM, but it's not economically stable.

 

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