First-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits continue to move in the right direction, falling during the week ending May 8 to 473,000, or a drop of 34,000 in seasonally adjusted terms, according to government data released Thursday.
Underneath the up-and-down nature of weekly claims, there are signs of a recovery.
Over the past 13 weeks, initial claims have dropped in eight of those weeks and have increased in five weeks as the top line figure has fallen from 847,000 in January to current levels.
Underneath the up-and-down nature of weekly unemployment claims, there are signs of a recovery. The number of initial claims fell below its 13-week average in February and has maintained its downtrend, no matter how tentative, for 12 consecutive weeks.
This runs somewhat counter to recent commentary regarding the slowdown in job creation in April. So it might be safe to say that we should expect inconsistencies and revisions because of the various reporting systems involved among the more than 50 state and district agencies, and that a downtrend in initial unemployment claims is more than welcome.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the 473,000 initial claims figure for state-run unemployment insurance, down from a revised 507,000 in the previous week in seasonally adjusted terms. There were 487,400 actual reported state filings, down from 513,700 the previous week.
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