Thursday, October 4, 2012

Weekly claims continue to impress

This chart shows unadjusted weekly claims and their 52-week moving average. It should be clear that claims are still trending down; in the year ending last week, unadjusted claims are down almost 9%. This continues to be good news for the economy. In fact, it's one of the most important changes on the margin.

In the past year, the number of people receiving unemployment insurance has declined by no less than 20%, or 1.2 million. That's a lot of people with an added incentive to get back to work. Incentives matter.

Announced corporate layoffs remain very low. What's needed most is more hiring, not less firing. The ingredient that is lacking is confidence in the future, not more bank reserves or lower mortgage rates. We'll need to get past the fiscal cliff one way or another before the economy has a chance to strengthen.


Gloeschi said...

It's a good thing incarceration rates are going up since those guys can't claim benefits.

brodero said...

You dont get recessions when the 52 moving average of non seasonally adjusted jobless claims is trending down,year over year housing starts
are positive,year over year car sales
are positive and the year over year ADP number is setting multi year highs....

Jim said...

Every company is at a barebone level, so the number of claims and unemployment at this high level of UNEMPLOYMENT makes sense.

This is such a misleading number if you use it on a relative basis. Just a matter of time before this number goes back up and then UNEMPLOYMENT get really bad.

Bill said...

Our law firm employs about 400 attorneys in several offices. We used to have 30 law clerks in our summer class. We have had no more than 7 for the past two years and will hire no more for next summer. We see very little evidence to suggest that work levels will increase enough to warrant the hiring of more attorneys in the future. Perhaps that is better for folks who hate attorneys but it is a reflection of the level of business activity in the economy since we work for large and medium corporations in several different industries.