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 unemployment insurance claims.
- Initial claims for unemployment insurance filed in the week ending July 20 slightly rose to 343,000, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised level. The increase is not unusual compared to the usual weekly swing in the data. The average level of initial claims is now at the pre-Great Recession level of about 350,000.
- A stable level of initial claims filed indicates that the economy is not losing more jobs. Unfortunately, there is still a large pool of under- and unemployed who needs a job. NAR expects about 2 million net new jobs in 2013. Fewer job losses and more job gains will provide support to increased home sales and rental apartment demand. However, much faster job growth is required to lower the unemployment which as of June was at 7.6 percent.
 As of 2013, the standard deviation which measures variation around the mean was 13,691 claims.