Unemployment Benefits

US Jobless Claims Lowest in Five Years

Not expected

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Claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly dropped to the lowest level in more than five years, extending swings typical for the month of July.

Applications (INJCJC) for unemployment insurance payments declined by 19,000 to 326,000 in the week ended July 27, the fewest since January 2008, from a revised 345,000 the prior week, the Labor Department reported today in Washington. The median forecast of 50 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 345,000. A government analyst said no states were estimated, and the data were still being influenced by the auto plant shutdowns that play havoc with the figures at this time of year.

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  1. I’m always skeptical of this as a metric for economic health. The problem with unemployment claims as a measure of joblessness is that a lot of people are excluded from being able to file in the first place. If you left voluntarily (to go to another job that fizzled, for instance) any job within the past year, you can’t claim. If you’re currently enrolled in any academic program, you can’t file a claim, even if you were working full-time and attending, say, a class at your local community college to get an IT certification. If you were fired for disciplinary reasons, you can’t get unemployment. And, of course, if you’re currently employed, you can’t file a claim, so if you were “downsized” from that yacht dealership and now you’re pulling 30 hour weeks at the local Starbucks, too bad.

  2. Not only that, but statistics on the amount of people who have LEFT the workforce play into those numbers…baby boomers retiring…etc.

  3. Funny how there are only 2 comments here…

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