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Unemployment Insurance Claims Are Back to Pre-recession Level

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.

  • The Department of Labor reported today that the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance filed in the week ending May 25 increased by 10,000 claims to 354,000.
  • The increase appears to be just part of the usual weekly volatility in the order of about 15,000 claims weekly[1]. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are generally back to the pre-recession level of about 350,000 claims.  A lower level of initial claims for unemployment insurance means fewer layoffs in existing jobs and greater job security.
  • For the week ending May 18, California (-16,334) and Georgia (-1,802) reported the largest decrease in claims filed on account of fewer layoffs in the service and construction industries. The largest increases were in South Carolina (+1,263) and Tennessee (+1,191).
  • Separately, GDP, the measurement of production and everyone’s income combined, grew by 2.4 percent. The growth is not impressive though still enough to create net new jobs.
  • What this Means for REALTORS®: The job market has been steadily albeit modestly improving. Fewer job losses and more job additions help both commercial real estate occupancy demand and enlarge the pool of potential homebuyers.  NAR expects improving times ahead for real estate practitioners.


[1] One measure of the average deviation from the mean is standard deviation. To date, the standard deviation is 15,053 and the mean is 351,542 claims.

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