Thursday, October 8, 2009

Recent Jobless Claims Data - Two Stories To Get Whole Picture

The following two articles came out today. I am always struck by how when "continuing claims" are reported, they never (almost never?) actually report the number of benefit recipients who reached the end of the benefit period. So, when you see "continuing claims dropped 16,000" but have to go dig to find out that "400,000 had their benefits expire" ... well, you do the math.

Even more fascinating is that both articles are from the same news source, CNN/Money. I'm just surprised that when these things are written the authors don't think to go find what that number is (benefits expired) and just include it. Is that not part of the story?

From the first article:

The 4-week moving average for ongoing claims fell by 15,750 to 6,144,250, from the prior week's revised average of 6,160,000.

But the slide in continuing claims may not be a positive sign, Resler said, as it may signal that more filers are falling off that count and into extended benefits.

Continuing claims reflect people filing each week after their initial claim until the end of their standard benefits, which usually last 26 weeks.

From the second:

more than 400,000 people ran out of unemployment benefits in September, according to the National Employment Law Project.
and it also noted:

Some 1.4 million people will stop receiving checks by year's end

No comments: