Surprisingly good headline UI claims number, 391k

Department of Labor just announced the latest unemployment claims and they came at surprisingly good 391k, down from upwardly (of course) revised 428k. I’d expect this number to get revised up as well. Here’s a chart depicting the seasonally adjusted claims and year-on-year change starting from recession highs.

Despite the pretty good headline number the amount of people on some sort of UI program increased by about 100k to almost 7 million. That is about 2 million below the number from last year although according to payroll figures only less than 1.3 million total non farm payroll jobs have been created between August of this year and August of last year. The periods do not match perfectly but it is clear that the people that are dropping off of claims are not all getting jobs.

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