Wednesday, May 22, 2013

New unemployment claims down slightly in 2013

New mass layoff and unemployment claim data was released today by the BLS. First-time unemployment claims in the United States were down 18.5 percent, year over year, during April, while claims were down 1.5 percent during the same period. From April 2012 to April 2013, first time unemployment claims in Colorado fell from 1,401 to 1,379. April's decline in claims marked the third year-over-year decline in a row during 2013.

The first graph shows year over year change for each month since 2009. There's not much of a pattern here, although there are more declines that increases over the past year or so for Colorado.

The second graph shows the number of first time unemployment claims for each month. Over the past two years, totals have fallen below the 2009 highs, but some months continue to see spikes, as was the case during January 2013 when first time claims reached the highest point seen since 2009. Claims totals remain well above what they were during the last recovery. 

The third and fourth graphs show mass layoff events and first-time claims for the first four months of each year (YTD through April). From January through April, there were 3,464 first time claims in Colorado this year, compared to 3,600 during 2012. From 2012 to 2013, the four-month total for first-time claims was down 3.7 percent in April. This is the smallest year-over-year decline since the recession, and suggests that the pace of improvement in the job market in Colorado may be slowing. 

 Mass layoffs continued to decline when measured year over year for the first four months of the year. Through April of 2013, there were 27 mass layoff events, and there were 32 events during the same period of 2012. 2013's total was the smallest total in mass layoff events reported since 2008.
Initial claimant: A person who files any notice of unemployment to initiate a request either for a determination of entitlement to and eligibility for compensation, or for a  subsequent period of unemployment within a benefit year or  period of eligibility. 
Mass layoff event: Fifty or more initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits filed against an employer during a 5-week period, regardless of duration.