Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jobless Claims as Percentage of Payrolls

Jobless claims fell slightly last week to 529,000 from 543,000. Yes, it’s a recessionary number, but when you look at jobless claims as a percentage of total non-farm payrolls over the last 28 years, what you find is a much less alarming picture.

Out of 137 million payrolls, October claims of 484,000 are only 35 one-hundredths of one percent or 0.35 percent. That comparison looks more like the 2001 recession than the really big bad one of 1980 to 1982.