Jobless Claims Continue to Decline Across Most States

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance (“jobless claims”) filed during the week ended September 5 totaled 275,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level. Initial claims for unemployment insurance have fallen below the benchmark of 300,000- a number reflecting normal labor turnover- in all the weeks since March 7 (Chart 1).  Initial unemployment insurance claims are filed by workers who become unemployed through no fault of their own. A decline in the number of workers claiming insurance means fewer job losses and greater job security.Chart 1
  • As of August 29, there are 2.26 million workers claiming continuing unemployment insurance, representing 1.7 percent of all workers covered by unemployment insurance. The number of unemployment insurance claims has declined in all states[1], except in Louisiana (+5,810), North Dakota (+6,285), Oklahoma (+1,104), and Wyoming (+904), which have been affected by falling oil prices and oil production (Chart 2). But as jobs are lost, new jobs are also created. As of July 2015, all states, except for North Dakota and West Virginia experienced a net gain in jobs. Oregon, Washington, Florida, Nevada, and Utah have posted the strongest growth in non-farm employment (Chart 3). Chart 2Chart 3
  • With fewer job losses and solid employment growth in almost all states, NAR projects 5.29 million in existing home sales in 2015, an eight percent growth 4.9 million in 2014.

  • [1] Based on claims filed during August 2014-July 2015 compared to the number of claims filed during August 2013-July 2014.

Source: Economist Outlook

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