Thursday, May 21, 2009

The "green shoots" of unemployment claims

One frightening statistic is the latest continuing US unemployment claims figure. This is the actual number of unemployed who are currently receiving unemployment benefits (filed for benefits at least two weeks ago.) It's at a historic high, but what's disturbing is the sharpness of the rise with no indication of any stabilization. See chart (source: US department of Labor).

Now some will argue that the latest spike is based on a higher population vs. what we had say in the 70s, when things got really bad. Below is a graph of continuing claims adjusted for the US population. Green shoots anyone?

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