Jobless Claims Low for Record-Setting Streak

The previous record was set back 1967-1970, but never have jobless claims been this low for this long.

Obviously, this record length of time for under 300,000 jobless claims started during the Obama Administration, since it has lasted 162 weeks. But we were told with great certainty that, if Donald Trump became President, his reign would devastate the economy. Well, he won the national election 75 weeks ago and the low number of jobless claims did not go up. Instead, the trend continued until it has now set a new record.

It might be worth considering how the media would react to a similar economic record if it occurred under Obama’s presidency entirely. Would the media give it the same attention that they are (not) giving the new record now? I expect they would give it a lot more time in the news cycle.

The Wall Street Journal reports, “U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Hold Below 300,000 for Longest Streak on Record.

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The number of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits has never been so low for so long.

Initial jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs across the U.S., decreased by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 233,000 in the week ended April 7, the Labor Department said Thursday. This means claims have now held below 300,000 for 162 consecutive weeks, cementing the longest streak for weekly records dating back to 1967.

The current streak eclipsed the previous longest stretch that ended in April 1970. Taking into account the size of the labor force, claims today compared to the late 1960s and early 1970s are much lower.


The consistently low claims levels point to labor market health because they mean relatively few Americans are losing their jobs and applying for benefits to tide them over until they can find new employment.

I have no idea if this trend will continue but if it lasts another twelve weeks then Trump will have been President-elect and the President for half of the new record in low jobless claims. If the streak lasts another 34 weeks, then Donald Trump will have been President over exactly half of the new record in low jobless claims.

We’ll see.

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About the author

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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