Relevant and even prescient commentary on news, politics and the economy.

Jobless claims continue near or at record lows

Jobless claims continue near or at record lows Initial claims (blue) rose to 14,000 to 202,000, just above last week’s 50 year low. The 4 week average (red) declined 3, 500 to 208,500 (vs. the pandemic low of 199,750 on December 25). Continuing claims (gold, right scale) declined 35,000 to  1,307,000, the lowest number since […]

Jobless claims bounce along near their bottom

Jobless claims bounce along near their bottom New jobless claims declined 16,000 to 223,000 last week. This is still 35,000 higher than the low of 188,000 set on December 4; but on the other hand is remains among the lowest weekly figures for the past 50 years. The 4 week average declined 2,000 to 253,250, […]

The Great Resignation and jobless claims

The Great Resignation and jobless claims Initial and continuing jobless claims continue at or near their best levels in the past half-century. Initial claims declined 43,000 to 184,000, a new 50 year low, while the 4 week average declined 21,250 to 218,750, also a new pandemic low, and in the past 50 years only bettered […]

Jobless claims show renewed downward trend; still some slack in continued claims

Jobless claims show renewed downward trend; still some slack in continued claims Jobless claims declined 6,000 this week to 290,000, yet another pandemic low. The 4 week average also declined 15,250 to 319,750, also another pandemic low: With the exception of the last few years of the last expansion, this level of weekly initial claims […]

Jobless claims: a renewed downward trend?

Jobless claims: a renewed downward trend? Jobless claims declined 36,000 this week to 293,000, another pandemic low. The 4 week average also declined 10,500 to 334,500, also another pandemic low: With the exception of the last few years of the last expansion, this level of weekly initial claims would be very low for any point […]

Jobless claims continue in normal mid-cycle range

Jobless claims continue in normal mid-cycle range Last week I encouraged readers to take the very low jobless claims number with a grain of salt due to Labor Day artifacts, and see if the big reduction was maintained or reversed this week. This week did indeed reverse the pattern somewhat, but not enough to interfere […]

Jobless claims show continuing improvement, now well within normal expansion range

Jobless claims show continuing improvement, now well within normal expansion range Way back at the beginning of spring, I set a goal of initial claims being 400,000 or less by Labor Day as a marker for a good COVID recovery – which I was reminded of because the aforesaid holiday is this weekend. Well, we […]

Initial jobless claims continue in range, while continuing claims sharply decline

Initial jobless claims continue in range, while continuing claims sharply decline Initial jobless claims declined another 14,000 this week to 385,000, still 17,000 above their best pandemic levels of 368,000 set on June 26 and July 10. The 4 week average of claims declined by 250 to 394,000, also 9,500 above its pandemic low set […]

Initial jobless claims continue in range, while continuing claims sharply decline

Initial jobless claims continue in range, while continuing claims sharply decline Initial jobless claims declined another 14,000 this week to 385,000, still 17,000 above their best pandemic levels of 368,000 set on June 26 and July 10. The 4 week average of claims declined by 250 to 394,000, also 9,500 above its pandemic low set […]

The virus remains in control in the unvaccinated States

Trend in new jobless claims flattens: the virus remains in control in the unvaccinated States New jobless claims are the most important weekly economic datapoint with regard to the effects of vaccination progress. Four weeks ago I wrote, “I think we are going to see two tracks going forward from here, as near-normalcy does return to […]