Fewer Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance

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.

  • Fewer initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed in the week ending April 20, a positive indicator for the jobs market and the health of the economy. Initial claims for unemployment insurance declined to 339,000, down by 16,000 claims from the previous week’s upwardly revised level. As a caveat, the data is preliminary and is generally subject to upward minor revisions.
  • In 2013, the level of initial claims has hovered at the mid 300 thousand which most analysts consider normal in an economy not experiencing a boom or bust.  Notwithstanding this positive trend, the economy still needs to generate more jobs to make inroads on reducing unemployment.
  • What this Means for 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.