Jobless Claims Normalize

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.

  • After a weather-related spike, initial claims for unemployment insurance[1] for the week ending March 1 normalized to 323,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week’s number. As shown in the chart below, jobless claims filed continue to trend downward. Fewer jobless claims means fewer people are being laid off.
  • Although this is positive, the more important issue is whether the economy is producing net new jobs. Job growth has been modest. Yesterday’s report by ADP, a company that tracks payroll employment, showed that the economy generated slightly more jobs in February (139,000) than in January (127,000) in part boosted by new construction jobs. The official employment data for February will be released tomorrow by the U.S. Department of Labor.

[1] Claims filed under the regular state programs, seasonally adjusted