42,000 Fewer Unemployment Insurance Claims Filed

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.

  • Unemployment insurance claim filings by people starting a period of unemployment dropped 42,000 to a level of 346,000 in the week ending April 6.  Claims data is volatile and the data is preliminary and subject to revision which have been generally upward, so market reaction about the data will likely be tempered. More data for the coming weeks should give a clearer indication if the April job picture is better than March’s.
  • Claims for unemployment insurance are not used in the calculation of the monthly employment and unemployment data[1]. Still, as the graph below shows, the general trend has been that when jobless claims go down, jobs generated go up.  Intuitively, if fewer people losing their jobs, then the economy is likely to be generating more jobs as well.
  • What this Means to REALTORS®: The April data, although preliminary, is a good indicator for the April job market. A robust and sustained growth in jobs is needed to bring down the level of unemployment. Thanks to the housing market recovery, NAR projects 1.5 to 2.0 million non-farm net new jobs in 2013 even with the fiscal sequester.

[1] Jobless claims data are reported by the Department of Labor, while the employment data are released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.