Thursday, August 06, 2009

Unemployment insurance claims modestly improved, an ongoing green shoot

Employment and unemployment will be ongoing problems for the foreseeable future - until business investment picks up substantially. Meanwhile, unemployment insure claims continue to incrementally improve. Initial claims are trending down and continued to do so last week. Continuing claims remain quite elevated and even rose modestly last week, but the trend is down.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims is now down to 555,250, but that is still well above the 300,000 level we would expect to see in a healthy economy.

The 4-week moving average of continuing claims is down to 6,278,750, but that is well above the 2.5 million level we might see in a healthy economy. Although seasonally adjusted claims were up last week, unadjusted claims were actually down and below 6 million.

In short, the unemployment picture is gloomy, but trending in the direction of recovery. This trend remains a healthy green shoot.

-- Jack Krupansky

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