Jobless Claims

In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses unemployment insurance claims.

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending October 13 declined by 23,000 to 369,000 claims, after the previous week’s jump.  Initial weekly claims data are highly volatile so a better indicator of the general trend is the 4-week moving average. Using this measure, the 4-week moving average is now at 368,000. Initial claims are now treading below peak levels of about 600,000 in 2009 and below last year’s levels of about 400,000 claims. Still, the level of initial claims remains elevated compared to pre-recession levels in 2005 with claims hovering about 300,000.
  • Meanwhile, the number of those with continued insurance claims was at 3.254 million as of the week ending October 13, down by 2,000 from the previous week. This indicates that either those people found jobs or are no longer eligible to receive insurance.
  • Job bleeding has eased significantly, but of more importance is the pace of job creation.  Tomorrow’s first estimate of third quarter GDP will give an indication if the economy is growing at a pace strong enough to create more jobs to significantly bring down unemployment.  NAR forecasts the economy to have grown at 1.7 percent in the third quarter and grow 2.2 percent for all of 2012.  Such a growth rate will lead to 1.4 million new jobs for the year and provide support for 4.6 million existing homes.