Initial claims for unemployment insurance have fallen to very low levels. Continuing claims for unemployment insurance are now very close to their all-time lows. Those currently employed face a very low risk of losing their job, and removing the distortions created by excessive unemployment insurance should lead to a healthier economy.
Initial claims for unemployment were somewhat lower in 2000 than they are today, but back then the economy was growing at a 4-5% pace and today it is growing at only a 2.5-3% pace.
But relative to the size of the workforce, initial claims are as low as they have ever been. The chances of a worker being fired in any given week are now about 0.2%.
Since the end of last year, and thanks to the expiration of the "Emergency Claims" program, the number of people receiving unemployment insurance has dropped by more than half, from 4.65 million to now only 2.07 million. This has removed a substantial amount of distortion from the labor market, since roughly 2 ½ million people this year have found themselves with an added incentive to seek out and accept a new job offer.