Thursday, September 10, 2009
As I read this chart of weekly unemployment claims, there has been a steady decline in claims since reaching a high in late March. Claims are down from 674K per week to now just 550K, a drop of almost 20%. That's nice, but at this rate of decline it could take a little over two years for claims to return to the 325K level that would be consistent with a "normal" economy. It's clear improvement, but the return to healthy conditions is likely to be prolonged and painful, and we're likely going to be hearing a lot about how this is a "jobless recovery."
(The big drop in claims that occurred in the first week of July was due to faulty seasonal adjustment factors relating to auto plant closures. That's now history, and shouldn't be interpreted to mean that things have gotten worse since then.)
Posted by Scott Grannis at 9:09 AM