Initial claims for unemployment insurance filed in the week ended April 12 increased slightly from last week’s level to 304,000. The increase of 2,000 claims can be considered as weekly volatility in the data. In fact, the 4-week moving average – a less volatile measure – dipped to 312,000, the lowest since 2007. Claims have been trending down and have normalized to levels prior to the Great Recession.
The largest decreases in claims for the week ending April 5 were in California (-13,892), Iowa (-1,266), Kentucky (-699), Tennessee (-582), and Idaho (-383). The largest increases were in Michigan (+4,285), Pennsylvania (+2,335), New Jersey (+1,630), Florida (+1,624), and Georgia (+1,453). Pennsylvania and New Jersey attributed some of the layoffs to construction.
Notwithstanding the positive trend related to fewer layoffs, job creation needs to accelerate. Today, only 58% of adult population is working compared to 62% to 64% prior to the recession.
What this Means for REALTORS®: Fewer claims filed means fewer workers lost their jobs during the week and indicates greater job stability.
 Claims filed under the regular state programs, seasonally adjusted
 Since October 7, 2007 when the 4-week moving average was at 302,000.