Jobless claims up this week

Jobless claims came in at 478,000 for the previous week, up from 463,000 the week before. But continuing claims were down 6,000 on the week to 3.720 million from 3.726 million.

While the one-week continuing claims number is fine, all year-on-year figures are consistent with recession. Last week, I said in my post “The Economy’s Four Horsemen” that it’s the magnitude of the data change which is most important to watch. The 4-week average claims to 480,250, which is 152,500 more than last year.

Continuing claims confirm the weakness of the overall data with the four-week average coming in at 3,680,000 up 1,131,500 from last year — the highest of this business cycle.

Again, when we see consistent and large decreases in these year-on-year comparisons, we will know that the employment outlook is starting to improve. However, we have not reached that point.

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Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, U.S. Department of Labor

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