Thursday, October 7, 2010

Weekly claims improve modestly and slowly

Top chart: seasonally-adjusted weekly claims. Bottom chart: non-seasonally-adjusted claims.

For yet another week, actual first-time claims for unemployment failed to increase as expected by the seasonal adjustment factors. Adjusted claims are now 4% lower (445K) than their year-to-date average (464K). The economy is not shedding jobs as it has in the past around this time of the year.

This next chart uses non-seasonally-adjusted figures in order to show exactly how many people are receiving unemployment benefits. The total continues to be boosted significantly by Congress' willingness to extend benefits up to two years via "emergency" claims.

Taken together, we see a picture of slow, and very modest improvement in the jobs market.


brodero said... indicator that i follow
and it doesn't get a whole lot of press is the private sector job openings (August number came out this morning)....The year over year
private sector job openings increased to 751,000.The actual number is now 2.849 million private sector job openings. The actual year over year number tracks well to the 3 month average of the monthly change in private payrolls.

Scott Grannis said...

brodero: thanks for bringing this up. I'll add more from the JOLTS report: "the number of job openings has risen by 863,000 (37 percent) since the most recent series trough of 2.3 million in July 2009." A 37% rise in job openings is pretty impressive, and suggests we are going to see continued gains in total employment in the months ahead.

Benjamin Cole said...

I'll take whatever good news we can get...but believe me, jobs are very scarce..........

brodero said...

While liked today's jobless claims number a subset number i look at the the California non seasonally
adjusted jobless claims to total
nonseasonally adjusted jobless claims. Today's number was 20%...the normalized number for this ratio is 13%. California's economy
still weighs on the national economy.

Jason and Jen said...


What do you have as the latest total unemployment claims figure in your chart? It looks like a total of 8 million.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, the standard claims are about 3.74 million and the two federal programs are 1.01 million (Extended) and 4.12 million (EUC 2008).

This totals 8.9 million - again, all NSA data vs. the 9.6 million using SA data.

Is there something about the Extended Program that makes it worthy of exclusion?