Jobless Claims Lower, Still No Real Improvement

by devteam August 27th, 2009 | Share

A weekly look at applications for jobless benefits showed fewer people filing for initial claims than the previous week, but the change is marginal and doesn’t change the bigger story: the labor market remains awful.

First-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 10k last week to 570,000, the lowest level since the first week of August. The prior week’s data was pushed up 4k to 580,000.

Any number higher than 360k indicates the labor market is bleeding, so the figures suggest that companies continue slashing payrolls rapidly to cut costs. The 4-week average is 566k.

Continuing claims, or the number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits, fell by 119k in mid-August to 6.113 million. That’s a big drop, but it’s hard to know if it is at all encouraging, as an unknown percentage of that weekly decline represents unemployed people who have simply run out of benefits.

“To the degree that the duration of unemployment continues to sit at lofty levels, our inclination to dismiss the improvement in claims is likely warranted,” said Ian Pollick from TD Securities.

With the Employment Situation report scheduled for released next Friday, ithe market has shrugged off this report and is now looking forward to the monthly figures.

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About the Author


Steven A Feinberg (@CPAsteve) of Appletree Business Services LLC, is a PASBA member accountant located in Londonderry, New Hampshire.

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