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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Unemployment Falls in 16 States; Steady in 7 Others

Since early May we've continued to reference the peak and then improvement in new claims for unemployment. This past week was no exception. As recovery takes hold more and more states are seeing encouraging labor situations.

In states around the nation's capital unemployment is falling or holding steady.

Maryland's rate has remained at 7.2 percent since June. In Virginia, the rate has now dropped to 6.5 percent in August from 6.9 percent in July.

William F. Mezger, chief economist for the Virginia Employment Commission, said job claims were down as the pace of layoffs in his state decreased in August. "We had over 7 percent unemployment in June," he said. "We probably won't see it again in '09 the way it looks."

Nationally the report this week showed that initial claims fell another 12,000 in the Sept. 12 week on top of the surprising 19,000 drop in the Labor Day week.

With unemployment rates now falling in 16 states, the confidence spike should continue with consumers, small business, builders and investors.


  1. gne:

    With regards to new unemployment - if this falls - is it not just that the rate of unemployment increase is slowly? Total # of unemployed people may still be rising? Seems that many expect unemployment to reach 10% nationwide before the peak is hit.

    (Miss your posts on CAPS)!

  2. Hi Rof!

    Initial claims is just one input in the unemployment equation. It measures the number of folks who have likely lost their jobs 6-10 weeks ago and have just now made their initial claim for unemployment. What one also needs to factor in is how many folks have just started a new job in the reporting week. That second number is one that is not reported by the government, so it is always difficult if not impossible to determine the "net" loss or gain in those employed in a given week.

    What is clear is that as recovery takes hold and layoffs and initial claims decrease, unemployment will begin to fall. With several states now reporting two months in a row of falling unemployment, I'd expect to see that trend down also start nationally as well.



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