Initial Jobless Claims Continue Downward Trend

As announced today, the seasonally adjusted claims for the week ending January 23 was 470,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week.As Mark Zandi, a leading economist stated, these are the best figures for understanding what’s happening to the economy and job market.  Several weeks ago, I reported on research to identify those economists who have the best long term success in predicting the economy.  The research found that Larry Summers of the president’s staff and Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s economy.com hold that well-deserved reputation. A morning update from NPR also reported that the initial claims figures have, on average, been on a downward trend for the past 19 weeks.  That bodes well for the economy.Here, again, is Mark Zandi’s very useful interpretation of the figures:   Only when claims head down to 400,000 will the economy be creating enough jobs to maintain stable unemployment.  Closer to 350,000 will lower the unemployment rate and mean that the recovery is evolving into an expansion.  When we get to initial weekly unemployment claims of 300,000, boom times are back
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