AUG: +151,000 jobs. Unemployment rate steady at 4.9%. AUG details here!.. Jobs since Obama took office?... Unemp. rate under Obama?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Initial Unemployment Claims Are Low; Very, Very Low.


First time claims for unemployment benefits continue to be the lowest they have been in decades,as reported by the Department of Labor this morning, Thursday, September 22, 2016:




In the week ending September 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 252,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 260,000. The 4-week moving average was 258,500, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 260,750. There were no special factors impacting this week's initial claims. 
This marks 81 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970. 
Please click for a better view of this graph.





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The Economic Recovery Continues

The percentage of insured workers (meaning workers whose wages are subject to unemployment compensation) who are actually collecting unemployment after a layoff has also fallen to its lowest level since the Clinton years.  

The number of initial claims first crossed the 300,000 threshold back in April 1970, back when the number of jobs was less than half of what it is today.  We have not had a streak of 81 weeks during which the number of initial claims was below 300,000 since that time.. despite the fact that we have doubled the number of jobs during those 46 years!

25% fewer people collecting benefits than 3 years ago, but fewer people exhausting all of their state benefits.

State by state, there are 13 states in which the number of people filing for continuing benefits is higher than a year ago. However, over a period of 3 years, the total number of people collecting benefits is down 25% from mid-September 2013.  The percent of people collecting benefits who exhaust their state benefits, meaning they collect all available weeks of unemployment insurance, is now only 37.3%. meaning that about 63% of unemployment recipients go back to work before they exhaust their benefits.  That number peaked at 56% in early 2010 (meaning that less than half of people collecting benefits found work before they collected their available state benefits) and has been steadily declining.

This means that, in late 2009 into early 2010, about 600,000 to 800,000 people a month were exhausting their state benefits without finding work.  (There were federal extension programs available back then.)  Now, in mid 2016, about 200,000 people a month are exhausting their state benefits without finding a job.  These are about the same numbers as in late 2006 into early 2007, just before the housing bubble burst.  To find lower numbers, we have to go back into the late Clinton years, from 1998 until early 2001.     

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