The charts above show the gradual, but ongoing improvements in the US labor market, based on the decline in initial claims for unemployment insurance. The Department of Labor reported today that the four-week moving average of initial jobless claims fell to 350,500 for the week ending last Saturday, which is the lowest level since early March 2008, almost five years ago (see top chart). The bottom chart displays initial jobless claims adjusted for the size of the US labor market, and shows jobless claims as a share of total US employment. By that measure, jobless claims in January were 0.249% of total civlian employment, which is the lowest level since March 2008, providing further confirmation of a gradually improving job market. At the current rates of decline, both measures of initial jobless claims should be back to pre-recession 2007 levels within the next several months.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
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