Unemployment Claims – Lowest since April 2008

Today’s report of the Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims is signaling that after 3 years, the conditions for job creation in significant numbers may finally be here.

The Department of Labor (DOL) reports in the week ending January 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 352,000, a decrease of 50,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 402,000.

The 352,000 is the lowest number for Initial claims since April, 2008.

Above is 45 year chart off the four week average for initial unemployment claims going back to 1965.  The shaded areas are recessions.

The 400,000 number has generally been the number that indicates whether labor market are crossing over into expansion or contraction.  I have drawn a Red Line to show how Unemployment claims have historically behaved when the initial claims cross the line in either direction.

The chart shows that  conditions in the labor market are better now (January, 2012) than where the labor market was  in 2008, 2009 & 2010.  The 352,000 initial claims number is returning to the range of 300,000 – 350,000 range of initial unemployment claims that were present during the healthy periods of the economy for the past 40 years.

However, I recently read where for people who have lost their jobs since 2008 but were successful in finding another job, 94% of those people are being paid less in their new job than what they were paid in their prior job.  I will discuss this troubling subject in another article in the future.



One Response to “Unemployment Claims – Lowest since April 2008”
  1. Thanks , I have just been looking for information about this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have came upon till now. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive about the source?

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