Increase in Jobless Claims Due to Normal Market Volatility

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 claims for unemployment insurance rose to 352,000 in the week ending April 13, up by 4,000 claims from the previous week’s upwardly revised level. The uptick is small and can be considered as part of the usual weekly volatility rather than one arising from negative market fundamentals[1].
  • The level of initial claims which are filed by workers starting a period of unemployment has generally been on the downtrend. After a sharp increase during the recession of 2008-2009, the average level has fallen to about 350,000 which most analysts consider normal. Still, the economy needs to generate more jobs to make inroads on reducing unemployment.
  • What this Means to REALTORS®: Initial jobless claims have been on the downtrend, but a robust and sustained growth in jobs is needed to bring down the level of unemployment. If this trend and the housing market recovery continue, NAR projects 1.5 to 2.0 million non-farm net new jobs in 2013 even with the fiscal sequester.

[1] A measure of the average deviation from the mean is standard deviation. In 2013, the standard deviation was 16,548 claims.

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