Initial Jobless Claims totaled 444k, 7k above expectations and up from a revised 433k last week. Continuing Claims, delayed by 1 week, fell by 211k and was 154k below estimates. Those collecting claims past 26 weeks, delayed by 2 weeks, fell by 135k but there is not enough information in today’s data to say whether it is due to the finding of a new job or the exhaustion of benefits. The last measurement of the exhaustion rate (the % of people who started collecting benefits and have used them up before finding a job) was at the end of Nov and it reached 54%, an all time high. Unemployment benefits can last up to 99 weeks in some states. Either way, the pace of firings still is a big improvement as the 4 week average of initial claims is down to 441k, the lowest since Aug ’08 but gains in employment still remain subdued.
Read this next.
Previous PostHow to Send Aid to Haiti