Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

In each Economic Update, the Research staff analyzes recently released economic indicators and addresses what these indicators mean for REALTORS® and their clients. Today’s update discusses jobless claims for the week of August 4.

Good news this week on the jobs market: initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ending August 4 dropped to 361,000, down by 6,000 from the previous week's revised (upward) estimate. This brings the 4-week moving average to 368,260 claims.

The level of claims has been trending down, although laboriously. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are still in the upper range (370,000) compared to levels prior to the economic downturn of about 310,000.

A lower level of initial claims for unemployment insurance means that less people are losing their jobs. NAR Research Chief Economist Lawrence Yun projects a net job increase of 1.5 million jobs in 2012, which is a potential base of homebuyers.

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