Thursday, December 09, 2010

Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to New 27-Month Low

The Department of Labor reported today that the four-week average of initial unemployment claims fell to 427,500 for the week ending December 4, which is the lowest level since the first week of August 2008, more than two years ago (see chart above).  The number of workers continuing to receive jobless benefits fell to 4,226,000 on a four-week average basis for the week ending November 27, the lowest level for that count since early December 2008.

The drop in claims was the fifth consecutive weekly decline in the four-week average, which has also declined in 7 out of the last 8 weeks, and 13 out of the last 15 weeks,  so the trend in jobless claims is definitely on a downward path as the labor market gradually recovers.    


At 12/09/2010 10:19 AM, Blogger PeakTrader said...

There may be 4% real growth next year, which will reduce the unemployment rate to around 9%, because of the new stimulus plan, less uncertainty, and lower household debt.

However, it may be necessary to cut government spending and deregulate in 2011 to accelerate the recovery. Otherwise?:

Paul Krugman
December 07, 2010

"...the payroll tax break and the unemployment extension are for the first year only. So, a bigger boost next year (in 2011), fading out in 2012.

Millions of new jobs? Millions? Not by my arithmetic.

...didn’t the administration repeat exactly the same mistake it made on the original stimulus? The stimulus was too small; but it also too short-lived, with the maximum impact on growth coming in the winter of 2009-2010, then turning negative just in time for the midterm election.

Now we have unemployment insurance and payroll tax cuts for 2011, going away in 2012 — just in time to put the administration in big trouble as the election looms.
This only makes sense if you believe we’ll be in a self-sustaining, strong recovery by late 2011. Stranger things have happened, but …

And remember, mistaken forecasts of self-sustaining recovery taking hold were a big part of the original stimulus mistake.

At 12/09/2010 10:40 AM, Blogger skh.pcola said...

the trend in jobless claims is definitely on a downward path as the labor market gradually recovers.

The job market isn't recovering, as it isn't anywhere close to absorbing new labor market entrants, much less those presently unemployed. The downward trend in unemployment is due to people exhausting UI benefits and the millions of discouraged workers who gave up.

At 12/09/2010 12:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Well let's see how long this 'good news' lasts...

From Ben Smith at the Politico who tweets: House Democratic caucus, a Hill staffer emails, just voted to reject the tax deal...

Meanwhile proving that liberals can even lose money in the gambling industry New York city closes down their own OTB and a 1000 people lose their jobs...

At 12/09/2010 12:09 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Can a country that exports trillions of dollars in defense spending and buying imports generate jobs?

Stay tuned.

At 12/09/2010 2:25 PM, Blogger Junkyard_hawg1985 said...

I struggle to understand a mismatch in the data. If I look at all of the insured unemployment benefits in the weekly report (including extended), it has fallen by a good amount in the past year dropping from 9.546 million to 8.298 million. This is a drop of about 1.25 million. At the same time, if I look at the household survey data (broader data set) in the monthly report, the number of unemployed fell from 14.407 million in November 2009 to 14.282 million in November 2010 for a drop of only 125 thousand. Why the 10X difference in the drop?

People exceeding 99 weeks?
Self employed unemployed from closing a business?
other ideas?


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