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Claims back on track

Weekly claims for unemployment came in as expected, and as this chart shows, the seasonally adjusted level of claims and the 52-week moving average both still appear to be trending down. On an unadjusted basis, claims last week were almost 15% below the level of a year ago, which is actually quite impressive. Taken together, these numbers confirm that the downtrend in this series is still intact, and the upward surprise of a few weeks ago was the result of faulty seasonal adjustment factors.

It is also impressive that the total number of people receiving unemployment insurance has declined by 1.2 million, or 16.8%, over the past year. This means that more people are finding jobs, and also that more people have a greater incentive to find and accept jobs. On the margin, the dynamics of the labor market are still positive.

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