The Atlanta Fed's SouthPoint offers commentary and observations on various aspects of the region's economy.
The blog's authors include staff from the Atlanta Fed's Regional Economic Information Network and Public Affairs Department.
Postings are weekly.
Regional Labor Markets: Forward-Looking Indicators Reveal Little Change
A framework for assessing labor market conditions needs to include forward indicators of labor market health, such as falling claims for unemployment insurance.
Initial unemployment insurance claims data are released weekly by the U.S. Department of Labor for the nation and by state. The weekly data tend to be volatile, so the data are also often reported as a four-week moving average.
Initial claims, which count the number of workers who have filed to receive unemployment insurance for the first time, measure emerging unemployment. As President Lockhart noted, these data provide insight into developing economic trends. For example, if a large number of people are filing for unemployment insurance for the first time, it's a sign that the labor market is weakening. A weakening labor market can affect consumer confidence and spending as well as business decisions regarding future investment. On the other hand, a decline in the number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance may indicate a strengthening labor market.
Recent data for initial claims have been largely steady in 2012, averaging between 40,000 and 50,000 for the six states in the Atlanta Fed’s district (see the chart). While well off the highs reached during the height of the recession, stability in initial claims does support the notion of slow improving in regional labor markets. A further decline to levels seen prior to the recession—between 30,000 and 40,000—would be even better and would point to labor markets experiencing an even stronger comeback.
The Atlanta Fed is currently conducting a poll of our business contacts through our Regional Economic Information Network (REIN), asking them several employment-related questions. The results, we hope, will allow us to better understand businesses' hiring plans for 2013. Stay tuned...
By Michael Chriszt, a vice president in the Atlanta Fed's research department
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to blogs that reference Regional Labor Markets: Forward-Looking Indicators Reveal Little Change :
- Southeastern Transportation: Tapping the Brakes?
- Southeast Manufacturing Slows in August
- It's Mostly Sunny in Florida
- Auto Manufacturing an Economic Boon for Tennessee
- Southeast Manufacturing Rebounded in June
- Southeast Manufacturing Dips in May
- Assessing the Impact of Oil Price Declines on Louisiana's Economy
- Seeking the Slack
- Middle Tennessee Consumer Confidence on the Rise
- Trials and Tribulations in Transportation
- November 2015
- September 2015
- August 2015
- July 2015
- June 2015
- May 2015
- April 2015
- March 2015
- February 2015
- January 2015
- Banks and banking
- Beige Book
- Business Cycles
- Commodity Prices
- Consumer Savings
- Data Releases
- Disaster recovery
- Economic conditions
- Economic Growth and Development
- Economic Indicators
- Fiscal Policy
- Gulf Coast
- Health Care
- Holiday Sales
- Labor Markets
- Local Economic Analysis and Research Network (LEARN)
- Monetary Policy
- Natural Disasters
- New Orleans
- Oil Spill
- Real Estate
- Sales Tax