Thursday, January 19, 2017

Jobless Claims Near 43-Year Low

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended Jan. 14, according to the Department of Labor. That was just shy of the 233,000 level touched in mid-November, which was the lowest since November 1973.

It was the 98th straight week that claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market. That is the longest stretch since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller.

This is not what a recession looks like.



  1. no, but it's starting to look like it may be approaching the end of a non-recession. Add to that the goofy trump affect exuberance, and it could get ugly quick.

  2. Sincere question here - Is there a relationship with the declining labor participation rate?

    The labor force participation rate has been declining steadily since 2008 (from approx. 66% in 2008 to below 63% in 2016...rates not seen since 1978).

    To me this indicates a large number of people leaving the labor market. I am also assuming this to mean that many of those have given up on finding a job.

    Thus, those people not participating the labor market would then not be qualified to apply for unemployment benefits. If that is the case, then would the low jobless claims really not indicate a healthy labor market and a healthy economy, but rather be a false signal to the true state of the job market?

    1. Jason, I've already asked these questions. Wenzel doesn't really like the question. His response if I remember correctly was to state that the people who left the labor market are probably on government benefits of another sort, other than unemployment benefits.
      It would seem to me, using Government provided data to show jobless claims are low is like spreading their own propaganda of "everything is fine."
      The people out of the workforce, who have exhausted their unemployment benefits, are NOT included in the labor force even though they still have no job. In my opinion, Wenzel has not done a great job of showing you and I to be incorrect in this matter.

    2. Just what causes you to spout such nonsense? I have addressed the labor participation rate topic several times:

      Further, you are denying the basic law of supply and demand economics if you think individuals who want to work (and aren't hampered by minimum wage laws) can't find work for a prolonged period. You are spouting gibberish.

    3. The trend is identical regardless -

  3. I always like it how no one ever talks about the quality of all these jobs people are getting. Funny how NO statistical comparison to living wage based on the rampant shadow inflation is nowhere to be seen in these good news statistics!

    If your 3 jobs isnt enough to allow you independent living out on your own what REALLY is the quality of THAT employment.

    Since everyone conveniently ignores that I would never expect Robert to look any closer at the numbers than anyone else. (there is no benefit for him to do so)

  4. So you want me to now look at everyone's job and determine if it is a good job? How much more of a central planning mentality can you get?

    I look around and see all kinds of marvels from smart phones to cheap flat TVs and cheap laptops and Uber rides, and think the economy has advanced remarkably in the last few years. These are products that everyone can afford. What marvels do you deem necessary that workers aren't getting becasue of some mysterious plague you see on the economy?

  5. Geeze Bob, don't you know the illegals took all the good jobs? /sarc

    I look at it this way. If there is a low labor force participation and low unemployment, the people who aren't participating in the job market have to be finding some way to feed themselves. If they aren't on the street and they aren't looking for a job, how hard-up for cash can they be?