Five Economic Reasons to be Thankful

With a Hat Tip to Neil Irwin (he started doing this several years ago) … here are five economic reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving …1) Low unemployment rate. The unemployment rate was at 3.6% in October. The unemployment rate is down from 3.8% in October 2018 (a year ago), and is down from the…

Five Economic Reasons to be Thankful

With a Hat Tip to Neil Irwin (he started doing this several years ago) … here are five economic reasons to be thankful this Thanksgiving …1) Low unemployment rate.
The unemployment rate was at 3.6% in October. The unemployment rate is down from 3.8% in October 2018 (a year ago), and is down from the cycle peak of 10.0% in October 2009.Click on graph for larger image.
This is almost the lowest level for the unemployment rate since 1969 (the unemployment rate was at 3.5% in September)!
Also, this is the largest decline in the unemployment rate, from cycle peak-to-trough, since the BLS started tracking the unemployment rate in 1948.  (In the early ’80s, the unemployment rate declined from 10.8% to 5.0%; a decline of 5.8 percentage points.  The current decline from 10.0% to 3.5% in September is 6.5 percentage points!)2) Low unemployment claims.The number of new claims for unemployment insurance benefits is close to the lowest level since the 1960s (with a much smaller population back then).  The four week average of new unemployment has fallen to 220,000, about the same as a year ago, and down from the peak of 660,000 during the great recession.
Here is a graph of initial weekly unemployment claims.
The dashed line on the
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