Initial Jobless Claims Plunge Toward Key 400,000 Level There was excellent news on the labor front this week as the federal government reported that initial jobless claims plunged another 34,000 to 407,000, and both the four-week moving average and continuing claims metrics extended their downward trends.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted initial jobless claims would decline far less impressively to a total of 435,000. The previous week's total was revised 2,000 higher to 441,000.

The four-week moving average declined 7,500 to 436,000. Economists consider the moving average to be the more useful statistic because it smooths out bumps in the data caused by holidays, strikes, weather-related layoffs and other anomalies. Continuing claims fell another 142,000 to 4.18 million. Some of this decline comes from people who have exhausted their benefits, but some of it is also due to people finding work.

Jobless claims are now nearing a key threshold that suggests ongoing labor market healing. If initial jobless claims drop below 400,000 during the next two quarters, that would give economists and investors confidence that commercial activity is increasing at a pace that would prompt most companies to curtail layoffs and resume hiring.

A year ago, initial jobless claims totaled 477,000, the four-week moving average was at 503,750, and continuing claims totaled 5.51 million.

States also reported 3.8 million people claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending Nov. 6, the latest week for which data is available, a decrease of 160,191 from the prior week. A year ago, there were 3.58 million persons claiming EUC benefits.

Key Statistics Are All Trending Downward

In another sign of sustained labor market recovery, the trend of fewer states posting large increases in jobless claims resumed last week. There was only one large-increase state -- Indiana, with an increase of 2,094 -- down from five last week.

The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Nov. 13, the latest week for which data is available, were in Puerto Rico, 5.8%; Alaska, 5.7%: Oregon, 4.3%; Pennsylvania, 4%: and California, 3.9%.

This week's jobless claims report is incontrovertibly good news. Initial jobless claims plummeted, and the momentum suggests the nation should push below the 400,000 level in the quarter ahead, perhaps as soon as next month, further evidence that companies are curtailing layoffs. To be sure, the nation's ongoing productivity increases have limited hiring, but the ray of light in the jobless claims data is clear: Demand is now such that most companies feel that additional layoffs are not in their interest. If GDP growth strengthens in the quarters ahead, at least some companies will have to start hiring to meet that demand.

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mikfete58

Paragraph 3 tells the whole story in synopsis. Especially the first part of the last paragraph. THAT is the truth behind everything!

November 26 2010 at 12:08 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rjen164497

Propaganda pure and simple. Tell us truthfully how many people are out of work. With fewer jobs and fewer employed of course there are fewer losing what jobs there are. DUH. With LIARS figuring, of course the figures LIE. Who do you know that has got a new job? Everyone knows people who are out of work, gone beyond the unemployment insurance, and have given up. The Administration is trying to feed the SHEEPLE a rosy picture. Liberals as usual will follow the SHEEPLE path.

November 25 2010 at 8:02 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
korny7926

they do this always just before unemployment runs out for millions of people

November 25 2010 at 7:20 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

Lost your job yet? Keep voting republican and you soon will.

November 25 2010 at 3:49 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to toosmart4u's comment
jhngm

nah they might not lose there jobs. But Im beting if we keep leting the top two percent rule this country we will see our wages drop every year until civil war breaks.

November 30 2010 at 3:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bdgrizcp

Does this writer realize that this is the Christmas holiday season when, as I recall, it is not uncommon for employers to hire temporary workers to get them through the rush? Years ago I worked for G. Fox & Co. in Hartford Connecticut. They added hundreds of temps every year. Since retailers are expanding the selling season every year, they probably start hiring earlier. However, the end of the season is still the same as it's ever been, and most of these temps are pink slipped around New Year's Day.

November 25 2010 at 3:11 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
debbie

Sorry- I don't believe these numbers. Just because people don't get unemployment any more, doesn't mean they shouldn't be counted. I have a deep mistrust of "adjusted" figures. And if you think people are making a living wage, guess again. Six months ago the company I work for was paying new hires 14.50 an hour. Now they're hiring at 10.84, and they can't get enough applications!! They hire one in 50! And the turnover is over 50% in the first 6 months. It isn't a wonderful job-and those of us who have been there a few years would do anything to get a job somewhere else- but we stay because there isn't anything else. In fact, people who left Wal-Mart to go to work there, have gone back to the 7.50 an hour epon job because it is better for their health! Blood pressure problems from stress cause ambulances to show up at work at least twice a month. People routinely quit this place on the advice of their doctors. And now the insurance went up so high, most of us lost over $100.00 a month in take home pay. People are taking part time jobs or temp jobs just to be able to eat and live in camper trailers. One of the ladies where I work spent 6 months living in her car and just recently got a place to live with two other employees I work with. They have kids except for her and have 5 kids sleeping in one bedroom. It is the only way they can make it. We get calls from customers telling us they need to cancel their service-they're moving home with their parents because their full time job laid off and they've run out of money nd the part time jobs they found won't pay the bills. I had a man and wife in their 60's call today, dropped their service and are moving in with their 87 year old mother because they can't pay their bills and eat and neither can she, so they are pooling their resources. I have two kids and a son-in-law living with me and we barely make it. They all have part time jobs and there's nothing full time around. This batch of numbers is seasonal part time temporary workers who were hired for the Christmas season. Come January they'll all be unemployed again!!

November 25 2010 at 2:46 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
sagerras

Aol wake up..... you are not doing your job at keeping this comment blog civil................ im reading a lot of name calling and offensive language.............

November 25 2010 at 2:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ronsjigslures123

People go to work for personal gain and finacial gain for there familys, there is a % that goes because they like it but how many can say they spend 40 hours a week and possible 10 hours traveling time to get to that job out of there lives to work because they like it. Not many, some peole spend 80 hours a week working and have no personal or family LIFE whats so ever, the worker has to sleep you know to do it all over again the next day. What drives people is personal gain, there getting some where in life. If the USA TAKES that personal gain out of the picture with higher cost of living and inflation, the work force in this country will fall apart in a short few years. People are sick of working there lives away just to pay the taxes to pay the salarys of all the goverment people, state and local goverment people wages and keeping THERE lives and familys secure finacially secure while they look at there familys doing with out. Because washington better look out if the millions of small working people ever say this a bunch of crap they will have a lot of unrest on there hands. Washington and big corperations do not make money and get rich UNLESS they have the little people working for them, and doing the work for them.

November 25 2010 at 12:52 AM Report abuse +6 rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

The jobless claims dropped probably because everyone is out of work.

November 25 2010 at 12:47 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
ronsjigslures123

Washington should stop looking out there expensive office windows and really get out into america a see what the heck is going on. There are millions of American working familys in this country that CAN NOT even have 10 bucks LEFT over out of there weekly pay checks. Thats right 10 lousy bucks, after all bills are paid. Many people are living from paycheck to paycheck in this country and that is not good for a work force to do. It creats unrest,depression,crime,devorse,and lots of other things to familys that made a healthy living say 8 yeras ago. When your a worker or any human being NO ONE likes things TAKEN AWAY from them that they worked for, and squeazing paychecks because of higher cost of living will distroy the work force in this country. People work to GAIN and get Ahead and save and build futures take that away and you have millions that are unrest and will say the the heck am i working for, then the USA will slide backwards no matter how many jobs are created.

November 25 2010 at 12:28 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply