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Latest Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims Indicate Improving Job Market

This blog post was written by Erin Fitzpatrick. Erin is a Summer Research Intern and is currently studying at George Washington University pursuing a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science.

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance filed during the week ending June 6 increased slightly from the previous week’s level to 279,000. This increase of 2,000 claims can be attributed as weekly volatility in the data. The 4-week moving average also increased to 278,750 claims. Most analysts consider a level of 300,000 as an indicator of normal economic activity. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are filed by workers starting a period of unemployment. Fewer initial claims mean fewer layoffs and greater job stability.

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  • Initial claims data by state lag a week compared to the national level data. For the week ending May 30, the largest decreases occurred in California (-7,891), Texas (-2,580), Kansas (-2,075), New Jersey (-1,531), and Florida (-1,232). The largest increases occurred in Tennessee (+1,006), Puerto Rico (+686), Ohio (+540), New Mexico (+416), and Alabama (+359).

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  • With job losses trending downward and jobs increasing at a monthly pace of about 220 thousand, NAR forecasts 5.2 million of existing home sales in 2015.