Another week of good news on jobless claims

– by a New Deal Democrat

Initial jobless claims were on an almost relentless upward trend from late March to early August. They have since completely reversed.

This week, initial claims fell another -6,000 to 222,000 and the 4-week average fell -7,500 to 233,000. Continuing claims, which are lagging somewhat, rose another 36,000 to 1,473,000, a 5-month top:

There were slight rumblings on CNBC about the increase in ongoing claims. I’m not worried in the least. As I wrote above, they delay the initial claims. They will turn down over the next few weeks.

Lower gas prices continue to bring a lot of good short-term news for the economy. I tipped off Econbrowser’s Menzie Chin about their relationship with consumer confidence and presidential approval, and he helpfully calculated their correlation with graphs, in this post.

I want to warn that the long-term outlook in the coming year remains negative; but as noted above, it takes the pressure off in the short term.

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