Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims Continue to Trend Below 300,000

This blog post was written by Erin Fitzpatrick. Erin is a Summer Research Intern and is currently studying at George Washington University pursuing a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Political Science.

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance filed during the week ending August 8 increased from the previous week’s level to 274,000. This increase of 5,000 claims can be attributed as weekly volatility in the data. Initial claims for unemployment insurance continue to trend below 300,000 which analysts consider to be normal. The 4-week moving average, which strips out the weekly volatility, showed a decreased to 266,250 claims, the lowest level since April 15, 2000.
  • The decline in unemployment claims is in line with other positive labor market indicators:
    • 2.4 million more workers employed in  July 2015 compared to a year ago
    • 5.3 percent unemployment rate as of July 2015, compared to 6.2 percent a year ago
  • At the current pace of job growth, NAR expects 5.3 million in existing home sales, up from 4.9 million in 2014.

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