March 30, 2018

Initial Unemployment Claims: As a Percentage of the Workforce, the Lowest on Record

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 12:00 pm

Thursday’s initial unemployment claims release from the Department of Labor reported that seasonally adjusted claims for the week ended March 24 came in at 215,000.

DOL dutifully tells us that’s the lowest absolute figure since 214,000 reported for the week ended January 27, 1973. To find an even lower weekly figure since weekly claims reporting began in 1967, one has to go all the way back to December 6, 1969.

The lowest seasonally adjusted weekly figure on record is 162,000 during the week ended November 30, 1968.

Though unDOL first began reporting on the size of the covered workforce eligible for unemployment benefits if laid off or let go without cause in 1971. From then until the end of 1973, the covered workforce ranged from 50 million to 62 million.

Thursday’s figure of 215,000 is 0.152 percent of the current covered workforce of 141 million. Even if the covered workforce was 50 million during that lowest-ever week in 1968 (it was probably lower), that would work out to 0.32 percent of the workforce.

Thursday’s seasonally adjusted result for weekly claims was the lowest percentage of the workforce ever.

Funny how no one’s noticed that.


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