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Claims: steady but slow progress





As the top chart shows, the 4-week moving average of weekly claims for unemployment is 374K, and that is also the average of this series so far this year. As the second chart (of unadjusted claims) shows, claims are still in a downtrend, with current claims running about 8-9% below those of the prior year. So although claims have been flat so far this year, there is reason to think they will exhibit a decline as the year progresses. That adds up to modest, but continuing improvement in labor market conditions on the margin.


The number of people receiving unemployment insurance continues to decline, down 19.8% from a year ago. Today, 1.25 million fewer people are receiving unemployment checks than were a year ago. That adds up to a significant change in the margin, and the trend looks to be accelerating, if anything.

No sign here of any emerging recession, none at all. It's steady and slow as she goes.

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