Thursday, October 14, 2010

Claims still point to very gradual and modest improvement

Weekly unemployment claims came in a bit higher than expected, but as the first chart shows, this counts as a minor blip; claims are going nowhere this year. But as the second chart shows, the number of people receiving unemployment benefits has dropped to a new low for the year. Undoubtedly there are folks who are still out of a job and hurting, but on balance, fewer people receiving claims means a) more people working, and b) an increased incentive for some to find and accept jobs on the margin. Yesterday, while walking around the South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, I noticed quite a few "help wanted" signs in shop windows. I'd bet that those jobs don't pay more, after tax, than unemployment benefits, but I could be wrong.


Bill said...

Did the big spike in unadjusted claims surprise you? It seemed like that was trending low for several weeks.

Scott Grannis said...

Not really. The seasonal factors anticipated some increase, and it turned out to be a bit bigger than anticipated. But in the great scheme of things, this just looks like noise.

Ron said...

Hello Mr. Grannis

I enjoy reading your blog thank you for the explaining what is happening in terms that someone who is not an economist can understand :)

I do have a question, how does the unemployment rate take into account the people who do not qualify for unemployment anymore, since maybe the time frame they have been on unemployment has expired?

Thank You

Scott Grannis said...

An unemployed person adds to the jobless rate if he or she reports being willing to work and looking for a job, regardless of whether or not they are receiving unemployment benefits.