Initial Jobless Claims Down, Week Ending March 13

Initial jobless claims for the week of March 13 were down 5,000 from the previous week to 457,000.  To get a sense of what’s happening, one year ago initial jobless claims were 644,000.  Quite a change.  As I’ve indicated previously, initial job claims are considered a gauge of the pace of layoffs and an indication of companies’ willingness to hire new workers.  The positive change is reflected in reports that hiring is up for the fifth month in a row in both manufacturing and service industries.  Further information on hiring is on my post, Good News.Once more, here’s the interpretive material from Mark Zandi.  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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