“BREAKING: U.S. unemployment aid applications up only 5,000 to 333,000 – a level that signals steady job gains“. An Associated Press Tweet August 8 2013
(Mis)interpreting Initial Jobless Claims Data
Each week economists and journalists eagerly await the unemployment application numbers from the Employment and Training Administration of the Department of Labor for clues on the health of the job market.
The number of initial jobless claims tells us how many workers filed for unemployment benefits in the prior week. A lower number indicates that fewer workers applied for benefits.
Headlines, like the one above from the Associated Press routinely appear and provide a gross misinterpretation of the initial jobless claims data. When the initial jobless claims number comes in lower we see headlines trumpeting that the data heralds job growth and is consistent with an improving job market.
The initial jobless claim tells us..... http://smaulgld.com/initial-jobless-claims/