Thursday, December 18, 2008
The Labor Department reported that initial jobless claims fell from a seasonally adjusted, upwardly revised level of 575,000 to 554,000 during the week ending December 13th.
The four-week moving average rose by 2,750 to 543,750, the highest level since 1982, and continuing claims fell from 4.43 million to 4.38 million.
The Thanksgiving holiday was cited as one possible reason for the weekly decline as layoff announcements continue to mount and the labor market remains very weak.
Yesterday, Aetna Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. and Western Digital Corp. announced combined cuts of 4,900 jobs and Eastman Chemical Co. said it would cut an unspecified number of positions in 2009.
Many analysts expect weekly jobless claims to surpass the 600,000 mark at some point in the months ahead. Adjusted for population growth, job losses during the early 1980s recessions would be the equivalent of 800,000+ today.