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Initial Jobless Claims Trending Lower

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.

  • Today’s report on unemployment insurance claims lends additional evidence of an improving job market. Initial unemployment insurance claims for the week ending March 9 dropped to 332,000 ,  a decline of 10,000 claims from the previous week’s upwardly revised figure. Claims have been heading towards the pre-recession level of about 300,000. That does not mean that we are back to normal. Much more hiring is needed, but at least the firing rate is slowing.
  • The number of continuing claims or claims filed for the second week of unemployment or longer also declined to 3.024 million from 3.394 million a year ago.
  • What this Means for REALTORS®: A lower level of claims indicates that fewer people are starting a period of unemployment. Even with the fiscal sequester, NAR projects 1.5 to 2.0  million non-farm net new jobs in 2013.