Weekly Jobless Claims Remain High
This morning, the Department of Labor announced that initial unemployment insurance claims rose to 462,000, an increase of 13,000 from last week’s 449,000, itself revised up from 445,000. The four-week moving average, which smooths out the jumpy weekly data, rose to 459,000.
Weekly claims need to fall at least 60,000 or 70,000 per week — into the 300,000s — to bring down the overall unemployment rate. But they have remain stuck around the 450,000 level for nearly eleven months, even though the recession is technically over and the economy is recovering, if slowly. Thus, the unemployment rate has hovered above 9.5 percent for 17 months.