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Continued good news from the labor market

Weekly claims for unemployment continue to decline. Compared to this time last year, claims are down 12%, and so far this year, claims are down at a 25% annualized pace. At this rate claims will be down to historic lows a year from now—it doesn't get much better than this. The message from claims is that layoffs now are just about as low as they can get, which means that businesses have already made almost all of the adjustments that were needed to cope with the Great Recession and the realities of our very sluggish recovery.

That's the same message that we get from the Challenger, Gray & Christmas tally of publically-announced corporate layoffs. Business is now lean and mean, so further expansion of the economy will almost surely translate into more hiring. All very good news.

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