Mystified by enemployment

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Bill85's picture
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 7 2008
Posts: 13
Mystified by enemployment

Every week I hear on various news sources that "new" weekly jobless claims are 512,000 or thereabout. Usually at the same time they also offer the "revised" weekly jobless claim numbers for the previous week which are always higher than initially reported. As I understand it a "jobless claim" is a unemployment claim for benefits. If I round down to 500,000 claims each week that means roughly two million people each month are filing "new" claims. I just heard on CNN radio that for the month of October 190,000 people lost their jobs.

Can anyone reconcile these numbers? Is each newly unemployed person filing 10 claims? Years ago when I filed an unemployment claim I could only collect for 13 weeks or so and once benefits expired I nwas not allowed to file a new claim.

I know the govt lies about the enemployment numbers but I can find no explanation for the discrepancy between new weekly jobless claims and the number of people who reportedly became unemployed. Any ideas?


Subprime JD's picture
Subprime JD
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 17 2009
Posts: 562
Re: Mystified by enemployment

Ive been perplexed by this issue myself. So maybe this can help:

Notice how in 2000 and 2006 when employment was good that initial claims were in the upper 200,000 level. I guess the reason for this is that people were getting layed off back then but were finding jobs soon thereafter.

In the bottom chart its shows the initial claims vs continuing claims.


Notice how in Jan 2006 that continuing claims were in the 2.5 million range. At the peak of our crisis cont. claims hit 7 million plus. Now we are back down to the 5 million level.

I dont know how much this helps but the data shows that even before the recession that initial claims were in the 300,000 level.


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