Unemployment Claims Continue to be Stubbornly High

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.

Steve Benen put up his weekly chart of initial unemployment claims today, and I thought it might be useful to put up a slightly different version of the chart. This one is a 4-week moving average, so it removes a bit of noise from the figures, and it starts in January, so it shows us only how the economy has been doing this year.

Unemployment claims have dropped dramatically since the peak of the recession in 2009, but as you can see, they haven’t really budged much since the beginning of the year. They’re bouncing up and down around a mean of 370,000 or so, and don’t show much sign of getting down into the neighborhood of 320,000, where we’d like them to be. This is hardly surprising news or anything, but it’s yet another sign that we should be doing a lot more to shift the economy into a higher gear.

We Recommend


Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.