Unemployment Claims 1998-2005 and today

As previously mentioned, I’ve run the claims chart for the time period from 1998-2005 (before-during-after the dot-com recession). Comparing the dot-com chart with the current chart (see both charts below) shows:

  • The dot-com equivalent of the current year is 2004. Claims rose in 2001-2 and were max for most of the first half of 2003, just as they rose in 2007-8 and were max in 2009.
  • The claims during the dot-com bust were far lower than the current bust.
  • In fact, for this time of year, the current 2010 claims (well over 400,000) are noticeably worse than any part of the 2001-2003 employment bust (clearly under 400,000).
  • The same “partial recovery” pattern was seen in both 2004 and 2010:  Claims in 2010 have not yet normalized, and are typically about midway between the preceding “boom” and “bust” levels – corresponding to a “Claims Oscillator” of 50% – about the same as in 2004.

What we have today is this…
Weekly Claims, N.S.A., as of March 18, 2010

… as compared to this …

Weekly Claims, N.S.A., 1998-2005
Today’s claims data showed continued failure of the labor market to “normalize”.

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