What’s Going to Happen to Jobs in 2010?

Mark Zandi, who, aside from Larry Summers, is the most astute and trustworthy economist today, understands that jobs are the biggest issue to most people.Zandi says that the most accurate and timely barometer of jobs is initial claims for unemployment insurance, a figure that’s released every Thursday morning by the Labor Department.  You can get the information from the labor department here.   This indicator measures the number of people who go to unemployment offices and announce that they are out of work.More than 600,000 claims were filed per week in the first half of 2009.  Zandi says that since July, the numbers have fallent to about 450,000.Here’s how to make sense of the numbers.  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.From BusinessWeek, December 28, 2009.
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