Unemployment claims continue to drop

The general trend on initial unemployment claims over the last few months has been largely encouraging, though there have been setbacks. Last week, for example, was a step in the wrong direction.

This week’s report, however, was a little more heartening.

U.S. jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ended Jan. 28, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had estimated claims would drop to 370,000.

When jobless claims fall below the 400,000 threshold, it’s considered evidence of an improving jobs landscape. When the number drops below 370,000, it suggests jobs are actually being created rather quickly.

And with that, here’s the chart, showing weekly, initial unemployment claims going back to the beginning of 2007. The higher the number, the more jobs being lost.

For anyone who thinks the stimulus package had no effect – as Repubs like to claim – the arrow shows the point at which President Obama’s Recovery Act began spending money.

I see unemployment claims going down once President Obama’s policies went into effect, how about you?

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