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 jobless claims.
- Initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending February 16 climbed up again to 362,000, which is 20,000 claims higher from the previous week’s upward revised level. Not much to read into the data since the uptick is within the range of the usual weekly variation of about 18,000 claims. The data is also preliminary and subject to revisions, generally upward, the following week.
- Despite the uptick, the overall trend is still headed toward a lower level of claims. The 4-week moving average, which is less volatile, is at 360,750. This is an improvement, although modest, compared to the 2012 average weekly claims of 375,000.
- So the job market is still improving, although at a slow pace. Even with sequestration, NAR projects 1.4 million non-farm net new jobs in 2013.