Thursday, March 5, 2009

Unemployment claims update

First-time claims for unemployment fell last week, while the 4-week moving average nudged higher, so maybe we're getting closer to the peak of this depressing wave of layoffs. Putting things in perspective, though, claims relative to the size of the workforce (I've used the market's estimate of a 600,000 drop February payrolls to calculate this) are still about one-third less than they were in the recessions of '75, '80, and '81-82.

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