Someone help me understand weekly unemployment claims

Discussion in 'Economics' started by DUDEnoway, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. "Ok so I am confused on this issue. Claims have been at around 400,000 per week forever, but each month an additional 18-175k are hired.

    How is the REAL unemployment at between 16-20%? Shouldn't it be at like 40%???"

    Hi Dudenoway..

    Yes, it is confusing. You are right, new unemployment claims, though slowly decreasing, have been at or around 400,000 a week forever. That would seem to indicate that 20,000,000 people are still being laid off a year, and that is actually true. However, even in the worst of times, companies do hire.

    When hirings exceed layoffs and quits, the jobs numbers ultimately go up and the unemployment rate ultimately goes down. When layoffs and quits exceed hirings, the jobs numbers ultimately go down and the unemployment rate ultimately goes up.

    I wrote in the article that you quoted: "That doesn't mean that people aren't still getting laid off or fired. But it does mean that there have been more people getting hired throughout 2011 than there are people getting fired or people quitting.

    From December 2010 until August 2011 (the latest month for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics Job Openings, Layoffs, and Turnover numbers are available), 13,333,000 people were laid off or discharged, 14,803,000 people have quit, 3,007,000 have left for other reasons (such as retiring), giving a total of 31,143,00 separations. Since December 2010, 32,000,000, however, have been hired. That means that there have been 857,000 MORE hires than separations through August of this year. "

    That article was written a month ago, but the numbers have not changed appreciably for September, the data for which is now available. We continue to have more hires each month than layoffs and quits, and the jobs numbers are slowly going up, and the unemployment slowly going down.

    4,245,000 people were hired in September. 1,756,000 people were laid off (That's just about 400,000 per week), 2,048,000 people quit, and about 345,000 left their work for "other" reasons. That's a total of 4,149,000 "separations". That means that there are about 100,000 more people working in September than in August, which isn't too far off from the 103,000 increase in jobs reported by the BLS for September 2011.

    I hope I've clarified this. If no, just post again!
  2. The numbers make sense, but where did you get the numbers for new hires from?

    I'm just wondering about the source so I can add them up myself. I don't think if I went to the BLS website and added them up, I'd come out with a positive since 2010.

    P.S. That's cool your blog alerted you to this site, haha
  3. It's from the BLS JOLTS survey... Google it and you'll get to the data.
  4. Tsing Tao

    Tsing Tao

    This smells like a wind up, Martin. A way to drive traffic.
  5. Huh? You think I'm part of some BLS affiliate program or smth?

    Let me provide the link, to add insult to injury: