Thursday, December 15, 2011

Another decent unemployment insurance claims report

We got another decent unemployment insurance claims report this morning, continuing a downwards trend, in both the initial claims and the 4-week moving average of initial claims. Continuing claims were up very slightly, but the 4-week moving average was down slightly and claims were half a million lower than a year ago, although it is not clear how many of those people found work versus saw their benefits expire.
 
Initial claims continue to inch down further below the traditional recession threshold, but are still too close to that threshold for any serious comfort (388K vs. 400K.) Local and state governments continue to shed jobs even as the private sectors is adding jobs, but at a rather meager pace.
 
This was definitely a decent report, but still doesn't tell us very much about what is happening on the net employment front which has been showing modest but sluggish growth for quite some time.

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