Non-Farm payroll data stats show how many NEW jobs (i.e companies creating new job positions) were created in the market place (It does not include farm workers, private household employees, non-profit organization employees, or government employees). This number needs to be around 125,000 a month just to keep up with population growth. The initial jobless claims number accounts for people who have applied for the first time for unemployment benefits. That doesn't mean that everyone that has initially applied for benefits lost their job because their employer was cutting their current position and reducing staffing levels. Say "Company A" has 1000 employees and during the week they fired 25 people and hired 30 new people to replace those fired plus create 5 new job posts. The company now employs 1005 (Non-Farm increase of 5 jobs). The 25 people let go apply for benefits and become a stat in the weekly claims data, while the 30 that were just hired will come off the continuing claims data (Assuming they were previously unemployed and collecting benefits). Look at the continuing claims data, that shows the number of people currently collecting benefits, its been steady. Historically (off the top of my head) weekly claims avg around 365,000. Initial claims above 400,000 usually signal a recession while claims under 400,000 usually suggest the employers are likely to keep their current staff and look to hire if the economy continues to expand.
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Last edited by brianfede; 01-05-2013 at 20:33..