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Labor market fundamentals continue to improve




Now that all the seasonal noise has been washed out of the data, unemployment claims turn out to have been bumping along a bottom of roughly 360K per week for most of this year, and the most recent datapoint is down about 10% from a year ago. We still have modest improvement going on here, but perhaps more importantly, absolutely no sign of any labor market deterioration, especially of the type that presages recessions.


Meanwhile, the number of people receiving unemployment insurance continues to decline, and is down almost 17% over the past year. That's 1.1 million fewer people receiving checks for not working in just the past year. Some of them have undoubtedly gotten new jobs, and some of them are undoubtedly looking for a new job with new-found intensity. Others are not happy at all. Businesses, for their part, do not seem to sense any deterioration in their markets. All of this is an important change on the margin that affects the economy in many small ways, most of them good.

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