Just in time for Thanksgiving, the Labor Department has reported that filings for unemployment benefits is at its lowest level in over two years. It’s a Thanksgiving miracle!
New Joblessness Claims Down To 407,000
The reports come in weekly, and have remained around 450,000 to 500,000 per week for the last 12 months. Yet in the week of November 15—reports come in on a one-week delay—the number of filings decreased to 407,000. This is not only a 34,000-claim drop from the previous week, but also a result that exceeded the positive expectations of economists who predicted a drop to 435,000.
Extended Claims Below 4.2 Million
Remember that these numbers refer only to those filing new unemployment claims. This doesn’t include people already receiving unemployment benefits. There has been a slight downtick in those numbers as well, though: In the week of November 8 (again, report delayed), the number of Americans continuing to file claims dropped below 4.2 million for the first time in two years.
For Change, Claims Must Decrease Below 400,000
For a significant effect on the country’s stubborn 9.6% unemployment rate, economists estimate that the number of new weekly joblessness claims must drop below 400,000. Fewer new claims imply fewer dismissals, which means that more people are keeping their jobs and are in a better place to do some serious holiday spending—thus spurring our national economy, which is about 70% consumer spending.
Bring On The Holidays
We’re always glad to hear some good news (especially on the heels of news less encouraging). It puts us in the mood for some seasonally-appropriate celebration. Come tomorrow, break out the bubbly and echo our own Thanksgiving affirmation: We’re grateful for our jobs.
Tell us in the comments: This Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for?