Daily Economic Update: Jobless Claims

Each day the Research staff takes a look at recently released economic indicators, addressing what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update highlights jobless claims and durable goods orders.


  • Decreases in new jobless claims continue, suggesting improvements in payroll growth with initial claims falling another 5,000 to 382,000. This is a 15,000 claims improvement over the past month with the four-week average also falling to 385,250.
  • This is the best reading of jobless claims since the recovery. Falling below the 400,000 level was critical for continuous job market growth.
  • Continuing claims also fell 2,000 to 3.721 million, another lowest point of the recovery. There were 984,000 net new job additions in the past 12 months to January.  Assuming that jobless claims continue to trend down, NAR expects about 1.5 to 2 million net new jobs in the next 12 months.
  • The report on durable goods orders showed an unexpected decline with over half of the major industries showing some declines in orders. Overall, durable goods orders fell 0.9 percent. January showed a much different 3.6 increase.
  • The largest decline was in the transportation industry, 1.9 percent, which was led by a decrease in defense aircraft orders. Transportation, however, jumped almost 30 percent in January. Keep in mind that durable orders data is some of the most volatile.

Selma Hepp, Research Economist

Selma Hepp, Research Economist, regularly monitors and writes columns on latest academic research in housing and urban economics, foreclosures, international housing markets, and demographic trends. Selma also reports on federal and state metropolitan planning policy impacts.

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