While new applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. decreased by 20,000 to 368,000 for the week ending February 26 (the lowest level since May 2008), and the number of people collecting unemployment benefits fell by 59,000 to 3.77 million ending February 19, the number of people who are now collecting emergency and extended payments increased by 57,000 to 4.5 million for the week ending February 12.
Jobless Claims in U.S. Fall to 368,000, Lowest Since 2008 [Bloomberg]

Comments from Plugged-In Readers

  1. Posted by Jimmy (No Longer Bitter)

    Behold, The Recovery is upon us!
    All Hail The Recovery!

  2. Posted by badlydrawnbear

    it’s definitely good news, especially for housing. But I will wait to cheer until after tomorrow’s jobs report.

  3. Posted by ChinaNob

    Here’s some context for those completely anemic numbers:
    7.7 million fewer payroll jobs since the recession started in 2007, even as the population continues to grow.
    14 million unemployed
    8.4 million working part-time for economic reasons (these are workers who are working PT but would work FT if they could find a FT job)
    4 million workers have left the workforce (these folks do not show up in the UE rate)
    Of the officially unemployed, 6.2 million have been unemployed for 6 months or longer. This is why you can see a drop in the # collecting standard UE benefits but an increase in those collecting extended benefits
    So yes, the labor IS improving in terms of possibly stabilizing with a drop in layoffs (thus a drop in new UE claims) but the anemic rate of job growth in the context of a HUGE # of the out of work translates into many years before we see a return to a normalized UE rate. If ever.
    For those hoping this signals a return of a “normal” real estate market, keep hoping.

  4. Posted by A.T.

    Yes, very good news that the jobs situation seems to have stopped getting worse and is starting (slowly) to get better. I predict that housing prices will start to rise again in California when unemployment is under 6% — i.e when things start to get “good” instead of just “less bad.” I hope we get there sooner rather than later, but it is quite a hole to start climbing out of.

  5. Posted by ChinaNob

    We’re looking at about 185,000 non-farm payroll jobs added to the economy last month. Even before considering the effect of the rate of population growth, we’d need almost 4 years at that rate to replace all the jobs lost since the start of the recession. Add in the fact we’ve add more people to the country since then, we’re looking at closer to 5-6 years to get back to pre-recession UE rates. Double the rate of job growth (and BIG if), and we’re still several years away from pre-recession employment rates. And that’s for a period (the Bush years) that we’re pretty “meh” in terms of how the real economy was performing.
    And this isn’t even factoring in risk of commodity price shocks, inflation due to the Fed’s QE, European debt crises, and the effects on unemployment from local/state government budget cuts.

  6. Posted by R

    I found this interesting:
    “Friday’s jobs report pegged the jobless rate for college graduates at 5.0 percent – compared to 17.9 percent for job seekers without a high school degree. For high school grads, the jobless rate stood at 11.9 percent; for those with some college or a two-year degree, the rate was 8.4 percent.”

  7. Posted by tipster

    New claims rose to 397,000.
    All hail the” recovery”.

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