Initial UI Claims Cross 400,000 -- Let's Hope for Good

Thu, 03 Mar 2011 20:43:48 +0000

The news from initial unemployment claims is good:

In the week ending Feb. 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 368,000, a decrease of 20,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 388,000. The 4-week moving average was 388,500, a decrease of 12,750 from the previous week's revised average of 401,250.

I think of 400,000 as the dividing line between a labor market this is moving in the right direction and one that has not regained its strength after a recession.  That's where we were in the past two jobless recoveries following recessions not induced by the Fed to halt inflation. Here's the historical data -- take a look for yourself: