Friday, July 30, 2010

Intial Jobless Claims Flat Over Past 8 Months

Unemployment numbers improved slightly by July 24th but over the past 8 months initial claims have moved sideways. Moses Kim writes that the labor market continues to be very weak, making talk of recovery premature. See the following post from Expected Returns.

From the Department of Labor:
In the week ending July 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 457,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 468,000. The 4-week moving average was 452,500, a decrease of 4,500 from the previous week's revised average of 457,000.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 17 was 4,565,000, an increase of 81,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 4,484,000. The 4-week moving average was 4,548,250, a decrease of 18,000 from the preceding week's revised average of 4,566,250.

Initial claims fell slightly in the latest week, with the 4-week moving average of claims moving down as well. However, the labor market is still showing tremendous weakness.

Initial claims have been going sideways for about 8 months now. If we were really in an economic recovery, an improvement in unemployment claims should have materialized by now. All recovery talks are premature until we get below 400,000 in initial claims.

This post has been republished from Moses Kim's blog, Expected Returns.

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