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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press The Post Doesn't Know About Unemployment Claims Data

The Post Doesn't Know About Unemployment Claims Data

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Friday, 30 April 2010 05:22

There were down slightly last week, but the 4-week moving average is still 462,000. Usually claims have to be under 400,000 to be consistent with steady job growth.

This release got no mention in the Post even though it provides far more information about the state of the economy than other data releases that are routinely covered, such as the consumer confidence indexes. Perhaps the Post will give the data more attention when it starts showing fewer claims.

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written by New Deal democrat, April 30, 2010 6:50
Dean, it is simply not true that historically claims have had to be under 400,000 for there to be job growth. It was only true after the very mild 1991 and 2001 recessions. Jobs started to show growth after the more severe 1974 and 1982 recessions when initial claims fell under the 500,000 mark. Indeed, in the last 5 months the zero threshhold seems to have been established in the 475-480,000 area.

I'm not arguing theory here. The actual, historical data contradicts your point.

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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.

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