Thursday, August 5, 2010

Unemployment Compensation Claims Increasing Again

I really wanted this post to be good news about the New Mexico economy. However, at best, the news is mixed and possibly heading in a bad direction.

The topic is the number of new unemployment compensation claims filed each week as compared to the same week a year ago. The figures lag a bit, but seem to provide the best semi-real time measure of our economic performance. The Bureau of Labor Statistics produces the report. The newest report is for the week of July 24. For that week, there were 1,692 new claims filed, up 95 from a year earlier.

The good news I wanted was a reversion to the year-over-year decline in new claims. From the week of June 19 through the week of July 10, the new number of new claims dropped from the same week of 2009. My hope was that four consecutive weeks of fewer new claims had inaugurated a trend.

That was not to be. New claims increased 206 during the week of July 17 and then increased again, as noted, the week of July 24. The state’s massive job losses during June seem to be turning into new claims.

The new claims numbers for the past nine weeks are below.

Week Ending New Claims Change from a Year Ago

5-29 1,788 -776

6-5 2,738 +173

6-12 2,030 +5

6-19 1,746 -222

6-26 1,426 -189

7-3 1,685 -153

7-10 1,714 -481

7-17 2,054 +206

7-24 1,962 +95

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