Kamis, 07 Juni 2012

Continued progress on the claims front

Weekly claims for unemployment came in as expected, and they were almost exactly what they have been averaging so far this year, so there hasn't been much progress in this area for awhile. But considering all the hand-wringing about the U.S. getting a case of recession contagion from the Eurozone, it's very good news: no sign at all of any deterioration in the U.S. economy as of last week. The good news here is that there's no bad news.

Meanwhile, there continues to be significant progress in the number of people receiving unemployment insurance: 1.26 million fewer people today are "on the dole" than were a year ago, and that's an impressive decline of 18.3%. And it's ongoing, especially since more and more people are going to be exhausting their "emergency claims" benefits in the months to come. This represent a positive change on the margin in the incentives that people have to find and accept a new job, and changes in incentives can be powerful factors affecting the evolution of the economy.

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