Initial Jobless Claims Resume Their Downtrend

Initial jobless claimsThe latest jobless claims report demonstrates how volatile the data can be from week to week. The previous week's seasonally adjusted increase of 28,000 was followed by the latest week's drop of 17,000 to 421,000. A Bloomberg survey had expected claims to total 425,000 for the latest week. The Labor Department actually revised the previous week's total up by 2,000 more, to 438,000.

The more-telling, less-volatile four-week moving average declined again, by 4,000 to 427,500. Economists emphasize this measure because it smooths out anomalies due to holidays, strikes, weather-related layoffs and other one-time events.

Continuing claims also plunged by 191,000 to 4.09 million, a decline that reflects Americans whose benefits have been exhausted as well as those who've found work.

One Year Ago: 5.31 Million Continuing Claims


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. Each 10,000 drop in weekly initial jobless claims translates to about 25,000 new jobs created per month.

A year ago, initial claims totaled 483,000, the four-week moving average was 486,000 and continuing claims totaled 5.31 million.

States reported 3.71 million people claiming Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) benefits for the week ending Nov. 20, the latest week for which data are available. That's an increase of 233,032 from the prior week. A year ago, 4.20 million people claimed EUC benefits.

The pattern of fewer states posting large increases in jobless claims resumed in the latest report. Two states reported large increases, down from five in the prior report: Wisconsin, with 7,545; and Iowa, with 2,789.

The highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Nov. 20, the latest week for which data are available, were in Alaska, 6.1%; Puerto Rico, 5.5%; Oregon, 4.4%; Nevada, 3.9%; Pennsylvania, 3.9%; and California, 3.7%.

This latest labor market report is reassuring. After the prior week's noisy data skewed by a seasonal adjustment, new jobless claims declined more than expected in the latest week, and the four-week moving average extended its downtrend by a substantial amount. Combined with the decline in large-increase states, the three data points provide strong evidence that the nation's long period of outsize layoffs is subsiding.

Learn about investing from the comfort of your own home.

Portfolio Basics

Take the first steps to building your portfolio.

View Course »

Investment Strategies

Learn the strategies you need to build a winning portfolio

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

88 Comments

Filter by:
vcgh2000

The jobless rate is another meaningless statistic....Say that 2,000,000 people exhaust their benefit extention in a week, and still the unemployment rate stays steady. Why? Because these people are DROPPED from the unemployment rolls.....another way the Government skewers the statistics to make people assume that this country is better off than it really is.

December 14 2010 at 6:31 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
toosmart4u

You people forgot all this went on during the bush years. 12 million jobs lost. There are not enough jobs left for everyone that wants one. Nor did they improve on the business world climate for jobs. So look no further than your republican party. You were the ones to ship all our jobs out. John Engler, the x republican governor of Michigan was the CEO of the American Manufacturing Association who were the ones responsible for moving the jobs out. Get your facts straight people, oh yea, republicans have to be told what to do for they cannot think for themselves.

December 10 2010 at 7:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
fishlover

JOBSLESS every years, but not doing anything about it's but just keep on hire illegals and buy stuffs made from China made other country rich while we are become poor @$$ welfair country.

December 10 2010 at 4:36 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
cdavecrz

Why does A plant move to Mexico? Because of all the red tape the government has laid on business to do business in this country. Enviroment, epa, osha, waste, you name it, its regulated. Then the people, they want a job,, then they want demands, Mexico wipes that alll away, no demands, no osha, no regulations, and the product suffers no change at all. In most cases, production goes up, and quality stays the same, don't believe americans are the best stuff, were to busy making demands,,,business don't like demands, and they really don't have to cater to it.

December 10 2010 at 4:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to cdavecrz's comment
wfreeberg

There is another point to consider; other countries provide cheap land and taxes to attract business because they have a labor force they want to have employed. That way they collect taxes from employees. Also, people in other countries want to work and have a stronger work ethic. In the USA there are way to many labor rules that set the employee against the employer. Most employees feel they are doing the company a favor by coming to work on time.

December 10 2010 at 6:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PeekachewsRevenj

Heard the story on LinkTV about a young boy in Mexico who fell into a river there. He died......from arsenic poisoning. Way to go corporate America! Yes we make to many demands here....we do not like Union Carbide plants explding and killing thousands of people. We are such a selfish lot.

December 10 2010 at 6:54 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
lowed376

The unions are not the problem, it is the greedy multi millionaire CEO, and upper crust management that is the problem, take a look at the Maytag plant in Iowa, the plant shut down, operations moved to Mexico due to cheaper labor, I have not seen the price of their washing machines drop, but I would bet the CEO and the upper management got a nice big bonas.

December 10 2010 at 4:01 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
David

The problem is not manufacturing. It is Services such as IT. Do you know many companies have outsourced up to 10% of their workforce to India. It is not manufacturing. It is services that are the problem. Check and you will see. Look into the stats isn't it ironic that the unemployment rate has gone up 10% and many companies are outsourcing 10% of thier employees to INDIA. INDIA IS THE PROBLEM NOT CHINA. China is manufacturing. India EVERYTHING ELSE. According to one database on outsourced employees AMAZON.com has 1000 of their employees in INDIA out of 8000 total employees you do the math. Vote Skymoat.

December 10 2010 at 3:24 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to David's comment
jfromulus

why do they even bring these statistics up like they even care people are still unemployed and out of benefits

December 10 2010 at 2:14 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
lowed376

The backbone of a country is manufacturing, our government allowed those jobs to go to Mexico, and China. What did they think would happen to our economy by allowing this to happen. What our government should do is get these jobs back to the United States where they belong instead of trying to create these worthless so called new jobs.

December 10 2010 at 1:48 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to lowed376's comment
bdyftns

What can the government do about business's outsourcing jobs to other countries? Nothing. Business's are out to make a profit. Some of these unions in this country have forced wages up so high business can't afford them. Our government, no matter who is in office can't stop it.

December 10 2010 at 3:16 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
PeekachewsRevenj

What can a government do to stop outsourcing of jobs you say. For a f***in' start, STOP GIVING TAX BREAKS TO COMPANIES FOR OUTSOURCING JOBS!

December 10 2010 at 3:31 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
Rick

GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR................. just got a depressing letter stateing my independantly contracted in home care job position is being slashed another 18 hours beginning 1/1/2011. Thanks Mrs Gov.of wa. It went from 172 hrs a month down to 114 per month. Thankyou for your generosity and kindness for keeping me employed in your labor camps. I caN really feed, cloth, pay rent and pay union dues with your meager 1200.00 month you provide me. The usa is a laughing stock. Sopposed to be one of the richest countries in the world and they treat their citizens like they were from a third world country. Reason we are in this crapper position is because we consumers are buying everything from overseas like china ect and putting usa employers and employees out of jobs. I predict by the end of Sept 2011 there will be massive riots and turmoil the world will have never seen before. I say impeach the gov.

December 10 2010 at 1:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Iselin007

Their counting on the older population to be too old to riot but there are many that will.

December 10 2010 at 1:02 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Iselin007's comment
irishmelody3

im 58 worked all my life **** this govt time for a change lets tear it down

December 10 2010 at 3:36 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply