In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses jobless claims.
- This week’s data on initial claims points to a continuing recovery in the job market. Initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending December 1 dropped by 29,000 claims to 343,000, bringing the level of initial claims closer to pre-recession levels (about 320,000). This week’s report comes on the heels of last week’s report that the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent in November.
- Meanwhile, as December 1, the number of continued claims which represent people who have been unemployed for two weeks or more continuously fell to 3.19 million. This is down from about 3.7 million from last year’s level and from the peak of 6.5 million, although still above the pre-recession levels (about 2.6 million).
- If the first time unemployment claims remain at 350,000 per week, we can anticipate at least 2 million net new jobs next year. However, the fiscal cliff still has not yet been resolved and if the cliff were to occur for a prolonged period, then the economy will be back into a recession with about 1 million net job losses next year.