Initial Unemployment Claims Down

Construction workers. Unepmloyment picture still gloomy. If you're hoping that jobs will rapidly come back to your community, getting your neighbors back to work, supporting property values, and staving off home loan foreclosures... well, you'll have to keep on waiting.

The latest count of initial claims for unemployment from the U.S. Department of Labor show a job market that is still treading water.

The seasonally adjusted rate of Initial claims for unemployment was 462,000 for the week ending March 6. That's down from 468,000 the week before.

However, to take a longer view, the rate of initial claims has hovered between 400,000 and 500,000 a week since Thanksgiving. Economists say that a stabilized rate of initial unemployment claims is about 450,000 a week.
Over January and February, the rate jumped up and fell back several times, as bad weather and backlogs in processing claims skewed the numbers of initial claims up or down. The 4-week moving average of initial claims, which irons out some of the volatility of the week-by-week numbers, was 475,500, up 5,000 from the previous week's revised average of 470,750.

To significantly lower the overall rate of unemployment, and help more Americans hold onto their homes, we'll have to do better.
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