Thursday, March 14, 2013

Initial claims remain a bright spot

- by New Deal democrat

Initial claims were reported at 332,000 this morning. This is the third time this year that initial claims have come in at 335,000 or less, which is the upper limit of claims I would expect in a normal expansion. At 346,750, this is also the lowest 4 week average of claims since 5 years ago in March 2008.

Last year claims stalled at a lower limit of 360,000. We have now had 11 straight weeks of data under that point.

I realize that the improvement in the economy is way too slow and has been way too slow since it started going on 4 years ago. But it is certainly better than contraction, and there has never, ever, ever been an economic contraction that wasn't preceded by a substantial increase in initial jobless claims.

The fact that layoffs are running only a hairbreadth above what we would expect in a strong economy remains about the brightest spot of data in the landscape.