Unemployment Insurance Claims Fall Again; Continued Claims Average at 45-year Low

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 218,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended June 16 a DECREASE of 3.000 from the prior week’s UPWARDLY REVISED (from 218,000 to 221,000) report;
  • The four-week moving average of first-time claims FELL 4,000 to 221,000;
  • Four-week moving average represented 0.142 percent of employment, DOWN from 0.145 the previous week;
  • The number of continued claims –individuals who have been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,723,000 for the week ended June 9, UP 22,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,701,000 (revised from 1,697,000);
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 39,750 to 1,773,750.

Trends:

  • The number of initial claim filings fell for the fourth straight week;
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims dropped for the ninth straight week;
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims fell again to its lowest level since December 8, 1973, when it was 1,715,500.
  • The Four-week moving average of continued claims has fallen in 12 of the last 14 weeks

Data Source: Department of Labor 

Image result for labor market

With the report a couple of weeks back that the number of job openings was larger than the number of persons counted as unemployed (according to preliminary numbers for May and “final” numbers for April), it follows that unemployment claims should remain on a downward trend.

Occasional spikes in the number of continued claims reflect a skills mismatch and don’t detract from the positive labor market news.

What doesn’t follow though is stagnant wages although the report on May payrolls showed average weekly earnings up 3.0 percent year-year, the average annual growth rate remains far below pre-recession levels.

 You can hear Mark Lieberman every Friday at 6:20 am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124.

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