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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Neat Charts on Unemployment Claims

I read the latest coverage of the unemployment insurance claims and how this is the "worst report" since 2005 and the most payroll jobs lost since 2003. I noticed that 1) those dates are so long ago, and 2) those dates don't represent recessions. So I thought, let's make some charts.

As the first two charts show, initial and total unemployment claims have risen, but are not nearly as high as previous recessions (90-91 and 2001-02).

Considering there are also more workers in the job force, the rate of uninsurance claims is also useful. As this shows, the slight uptick to 2.2% in the latest reports is also well below previous recession, and is equal to the rate when Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996. In other words, our economy is in worse shape than it was even a few months ago, but is not in dire straights - as it is more comparable to other periods of economic growth (e.g. early to mid 1990s) than it is to previous recessions.

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