Thursday, April 08, 2010

Adjusted Jobless Claims Fall 12th Straight Month

I haven't featured jobless claims adjusted for the size of labor force for a few months, so here's the new chart above (BLS data here and here). Jobless claims averaged 459,187.5 in March, which is 0.3306% of the March labor force of 138,905,000, and represents an 18-month low (lowest since September 2008). For each of the last 12 months starting in April of last year, jobless claims as a percent of the labor force have declined.

This measure of initial jobless claims, adjusted for the increasing size of the U.S. labor force over time, shows that jobless claims peaked during this recession above the levels of the last two recessions (1990-1991 and 2001), but were never anywhere close to the levels of the previous three recessions in the mid-1970s and early 1980s. The sharp reduction in adjusted jobless claims from the March 2009 high follows the same pattern of sharp reductions at the end of each of the last five recessions.
See a very similar analysis here from the always-excellent Scott Grannis, who alternatively calculates jobless claims as a percent of payrolls with the exact same graphical pattern presented here using jobless claims as a percent of the labor force (slightly different denominator, but same numerator, and same story).

5 Comments:

At 4/08/2010 3:05 PM, Anonymous morganovich said...

and yet, on an absolute basis, they remain at an elevated level seen only once since the mid 90's.

are we supposed to be cheered by this?

what about the increase in claims for the week (and 4 week avg) ended 4/4?

 
At 4/08/2010 6:08 PM, Blogger Craig said...

Your perspective is valuable, of course. But this is dragging on a bit long. Wouldn't you say?

 
At 4/08/2010 7:22 PM, Anonymous American Delight said...

Craig, do you mean that the recovery is dragging on a bit, or this blog posting theme?

 
At 4/08/2010 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With buyer intentions in some doubt, IDC has suggested that global IT spending might be flat or even down over the next 12-months, although it says that eventually, spending in the post-economic downturn phase, will have to pick up again, as projects and updates that were put on hold during the downturn become more critical to competitiveness in the recovery.

http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/market/38174-cautious-buyers-cast-doubt-on-it-spend

 
At 4/08/2010 8:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

With buyer intentions in some doubt, IDC has suggested that global IT spending might be flat or even down over the next 12-months, although it says that eventually, spending in the post-economic downturn phase, will have to pick up again, as projects and updates that were put on hold during the downturn become more critical to competitiveness in the recovery.

http://www.itwire.com/it-industry-news/market/38174-cautious-buyers-cast-doubt-on-it-spend

 

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