Thursday, April 8, 2010

Weekly claims: much ado about nothing

When I see this headline on Drudge—"Phone Home: Jobless Claims Rise Again"—I can't help but smile. Claims were about 25,000 more than expected last week, but that is no reason to think that the economy is suddenly in trouble. The claims series is notoriously volatile, bouncing around by 20K or 30K a week quite often. These blips need to be taken in the larger context of what is happening in the economy. The economy is making progress, and healing pretty much as it has in every recovery. This chart compares the level of unemployment claims to the number of people working. It shows significant progress, and a much lower level of workforce disruption (i.e., the percentage of the workforce that is laid off in a given period) than we saw in prior recessions.

1 comment:

brodero said...

I thought the numbers where very good...the year over year percentage change in nonseasonally
adjusted jobless claims set a new low on percentage terms minus 33.5%