News

Jobless claims drop in Ohio, nation

May 2013

Bill Even (Economics) was quoted in a May 2nd Dayton Daily News article about interpreting jobless claims data.

"We can have fewer layoffs going on in the economy, which could cause the jobless claims to drop, and simultaneously, other firms are just not increasing their hiring," said William Even, the Raymond E. Glos professor of business with the Farmer School of Business at Miami University. "I would be more excited about a big jobs number than a big drop in the number of new claims for jobless benefits."

Across the nation, new claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending on April 27 fell 18,000 from the prior week and 31,000 from the week before that, labor data show. Initial claims were down 13 percent from the same week the previous year.

In the Dayton region, the heavy concentration of jobs tied to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base explains why initial unemployment claims crept upward to 717 last week, said George Zeller, an economic research analyst in Cleveland. The data is for Clark, Greene, Miami, Montgomery and Preble counties. The number of jobless claims can be volatile week to week, and Zeller said he uses a four-week running average to "smooth out" the data.

Employers in March added only 88,000 jobs, the lowest level since June 2012, and less than half the gains some economists predicted. "You need about 150,000 new jobs each month just to absorb the new people coming into the labor market because of population growth and immigration," said Even, with Miami University. "The 90,000 jobs last month was bad."