Streak Going Strong: Unemployment Claims Fall

Seal On Money BHUnemployment dropped by 4,000 claims last week, though claims were still up slightly compared to a month prior, according to U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).

The DOL’s latest weekly report on unemployment claims found 262,000 claims for the week ending Aug. 13. This marks the 76th consecutive week of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970.

The encouraging news for the workforce has coincided with an equally smooth foreclosure picture of late. Last week’s National Foreclosure Report from CoreLogic found that though June’s 38,000 foreclosures is a bump from May’s 36,000, the number is 26 percent down from a year ago and 67.5 percent down from the foreclosure peak of 117,835 in September 2010. Overall, June’s foreclosure inventory was down 3.6 percent compared with May and is the lowest for any month since August 2007.

“There is no reason to believe that we will see any increase in the level of foreclosure activity in the foreseeable future,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate in Seattle. “In fact, I would contend that we will see the number of foreclosures continue to contract as job growth—and home price growth—continue to outperform the nation as a whole.”

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.6 percent for the week ending Aug. 6, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate, the DOL reported. The 4-week moving average was 2.155 million, an increase of 10,750 from the previous week’s revised average.

Unadjusted, the advance number of actual initial claims under state programs totaled 219,544 in the week ending Aug. 13, a decrease of 5.2 percent from the previous week. There were 229,251 initial claims in the comparable week of 2015.

Puerto Rico reported the highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending July 30: 3.5.  Connecticut and New Jersey each reported a rate of 2.7, while Alaska closely trailed at 2.6. Pennsylvania, which reported a rate of 2.5, also had largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 6 were in Pennsylvania, up 2,359. Michigan, with 2,186 fewer claims, overwhelmingly led states with the largest decrease in claims (even though the CoreLogic report placed Michigan second in total foreclosures in June), with 47,000.  Kentucky, with 536 fewer unemployment claims, came in second.

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