Thursday, December 31, 2009

Claims continue to improve

Weekly claims for unemployment continue to decline, and at a fairly impressive pace. This is undeniable evidence of ongoing improvement in the economy. It's something to cheer tonight as we toast the end of a bad year. It was a dreadful year for the millions of people who lost their jobs. But it ended up being a whole lot less bad than the great majority of people imagined it would be. That's the good news.


brodero said...

Based On my analysis Of NSA numbers
we will see SA Jobless claims numbers next month dropping to 400,000 ...the trajectory
of the NSA jobless claims in the seasonally high November & December
numbers has not bit this low since 2003.

brodero said...

A second point...continuing claims + EUC + extended benedits programs
came in at 9.854 million....the high was on November 21st at 10.056

Benjamin Cole said...

Die recession, die, die, die!

Wishing all posters, especially my ideological opposites, the best for 2010.

Let's hope for robust growth, and balanced federal budgets in the future!

alstry said...


You have to be the most amazing prognosticator out there.

In a year that millions lost their jobs, few were hiring, about 1/4 of all our auto dealerships shut down or were scheduled to shut down, commercial real estate crashed, foreclosures skyrocketed, New York State ran out of money, California on track to run over a $20 Billion dollar deficit, AFTER slashing the budget, the Federal Government on track for a $2 Trillion dollar deficit and this from Calculated Risk:

Hotels: Worst Year Since Great Depression

In terms of the occupancy rate, 2009 was the worst year since the Great Depression (close to 55%). And last week was no exception with Smith Travel Research reporting the occupancy rate fell to 33.8 percent - the lowest weekly occupancy rate on record.



Blake Huber said...

Hi Scott --

My understanding is that although initial claims fell again, EUC category increased almost +200K over the prior week. Could you comment on the importance of the EUC (Emergency Unemployment Insurance) category? There is much evidence to show that the media doesn't understand this category, or even report on it. What happens if we get to zero initial claims, but we have 15 million drawing benefits between continuing claims, EUC, and extended benefits bc hiring is lagging?

Thank you as always for your expert insights,
Happy New year,

Scott Grannis said...

Blake: The rolls of those receiving EUC (extended unemployment insurance claims) has indeed risen rather dramatically. I believe however that these claims are contained in the "Continuing unemployment claims" statistic which has been falling significantly for quite a few months.

Fewer people are being laid off, and because politicians take pity on those without jobs, more people are remaining unemployment beyond the normal period for getting payments. This is all unfortunate, because people have less of an incentive to find work if they can keep collecting unemployment insurance forever. But in the end, the overriding statistics are 1) new claims are steadily declining, and 2) the economic fundamentals are steadily improving. Sooner or later the economy will be making net additions to jobs.