Initial Jobless Claims Take a Hopeful Dive

IJobsnitial jobless claims unexpectedly plunged 27,000 to 451,000, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday. That's a long shot better than what a Bloomberg survey had forecast: It found initial jobless claims would dip to 470,000. The four-week moving average also plummeted, by 9,250 to 477,500, and continuing claims dipped 2,000 to 4.48 million.

Economists emphasize the more-telling, four-week moving average because it smooths out anomalies due to holidays, strikes and weather-related layoffs.


Despite the latest hopeful sign, jobless claims need to drop below 400,000 during the next two quarters to give economists and investors confidence that commercial activity is increasing at a pace that prompts most companies to curtail layoffs and resume hiring. A year ago, initial jobless claims totaled 556,000, the four-week moving average was at 566,500 and continuing claims totaled 6.04 million.

States also reported 4.51 million people claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending Aug. 21, the latest week for which data are available, a decrease of 35,365 from the prior week. A year ago, 3.16 million people claimed EUC benefits.

Back to a Downtrend?


The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Aug. 21, the latest week for which data are available, were in Puerto Rico, 5.9%; New Jersey, 4.6%; Pennsylvania, 4.6%; Oregon, 4.5%, and California, 4.4%.

With the current jobless claims report, the labor market has registered two straight substantial declines for the first time since early summer. Moreover, the hope is that after a rise that was boosted in part by seasonal layoffs, jobless claims will now keep trending in the right direction -- down, aided by an ongoing economic recovery.

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otterdad48

It is absolutely amazing that even the slightest good economic news is so threatening to conservatives.

September 10 2010 at 6:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rod

We're still out here its just that benefits have run out or another issue came up that knocked you off the books, so now you no longer count.

September 10 2010 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
onboardjack

These figures do not include the unemployed that have ran out of unemployment benefits and are now still unemployed or under employed. I don't believe this report. The over educated people that can't even get low level jobs because they have too much education.

September 10 2010 at 7:35 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to onboardjack's comment
bbhanks

Ditto

September 10 2010 at 9:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rbenante

BULLSHIT AND RUBBER BABY BUMPERS

September 10 2010 at 7:23 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
elizabeth

This number ...like all government numbers will be REVISED next month to show the truth...things are NOT getting better. The corrected numbers will get little mention by the media.

September 10 2010 at 7:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
wfreeberg

Only a fool states that things are not getting better. The market has steadily climbed over the past year. Companies are becoming profitable; that is with a reduced staff. There is a glut of housing because those that shouldn't have purchased homes have been forclosed on. If one is still out of work; you are living in the wrong state, some have unemployment under 6%, or you don't have marketable skills. Look inward at what you are doing to change your situation.

September 10 2010 at 6:31 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
dterraman

sunshine and lollipops

September 10 2010 at 5:42 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Only the spinners see the economy getting better because they got a hand in the cookie jar an have to explain where the cash came from.

September 10 2010 at 1:19 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Spinning isn't going to fool anyone this time since they can't pump housing to raise equity.

September 10 2010 at 1:02 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Low wages jobs leave people without benefits when they get laid off after having been laid off after a previous job only a short time earlier. The economy stank for quite awhile leaving older workers out of careers and with repeated low wage jobs that laid them off.

September 10 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply