Thursday, April 23, 2009

Unemployment Claims and the End of Recessions

James Hamilton (4/9/2009): If subsequent data confirm that the 4-week average of initial claims did indeed reach its peak in the number reported April 2, and if Robert Gordon's pattern holds up, the recovery that many of us had assumed would be quarters or perhaps even years away may instead have started by June.

James Hamilton (4/16/2009): If April 4 ultimately proves to be the peak for the entire year, and if this recession behaves like each of the previous 6 recessions, we could expect the NBER eventually to declare that the economic recovery began within 6 weeks of today.


At 4/23/2009 9:06 AM, Blogger thomasblair said...

If this is accurate, why wasn't the peak (or bottom, however you think of it) called when claims dropped between 12/08 and 1/09?

At 4/23/2009 9:47 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Because it continued to go up Thomas. For it to be a peak it must continue to go down from that point.

At 4/23/2009 9:54 AM, Blogger thomasblair said...


At the time, you couldn't have known that. He's calling it here based on one month's decline. Why was it not called back in January after a single month's decline?

At 4/23/2009 10:01 AM, Anonymous Machiavelli999 said...

Because the decline from December to January is usually seasonal. Weird and unpredictable employment patterns occur right after the holiday season.

This drop is more significant. However, today's number was not very encouraging.

At 4/23/2009 10:13 AM, Blogger thomasblair said...

You make a good point. I hadn't considered that.

At 4/23/2009 10:39 AM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Also he is not "calling it." There is a question mark after peak. As in "is this a peak?"


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