Thursday, October 1, 2009

Unemployment claims update

Unemployment claims continue their slow, irregular descent. Nothing here to write home home about. This recovery is not a barn-burner. It will take a long time before layoffs are outnumbered by new hires; the unemployment rate is going to be slow to decline. But on the bright side, the economy is going through the normal healing process; things are getting better.


Jake said...

It's not concerning at all that jobs are still being shed at a higher rate than at any point in past recessions even though 6 million plus additional people gave already lost there job?

Scott Grannis said...

Your assertion is not technically true. In the first several months following the recessions of 74-75 and 81-82, claims as a % of the workforce were much higher than they are today. See the chart I have posted several times labeled "Workforce Disruption."

Jake said...

look at the data from 74-75 and 81-82. those peaks were just that... peaks (and very sharp peaks). and they rebounded sharply. now, look at this recession.

as you pointed out, you have posted that chart several times, the first on june 5th. that is 4 months ago (or after tomorrow's print about 1 million jobs ago).

my point is that after ALL the people that have been laid off, these numbers should naturally be falling sharply as the low hanging fruit (i.e. unproductive workers) have already been laid off. but they aren't and instead are staying flat at more than 500k

Scott Grannis said...

I will post an updated version of the chart tomorrow after the jobs number. I think you will see that conditions were much worse in the prior recessions than they are now. And there is no sign of any "plateau" in the numbers today; claims continue on an irregular but downward trend.