Some Good Jobs News

Via NBC News: Latest weekly jobless claims fall to 199,000, the lowest since 1969.

Initial weekly jobless claims dropped to 199,000 last week, hitting the lowest level since 1969 and roundly beating economists’ expectations of 260,000.

Weekly applications for unemployment benefits have been falling in recent weeks as employers hold on to their workforces in a tight labor market.


While the economy is still short around 4 million jobs compared to pre-pandemic levels, 531,000 jobs were added last month, according to the latest monthly employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, down from 4.8 percent.

Some progress, it would seem.

For those who might be curious (as I was) if the 1969 comparison is population-adjusted or not, it isn’t. The report linked in the quote from NBC notes “This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000.” They are however, seasonally adjusted (both in terms of the current figure and the 1969 one).

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I blame Biden.

  2. Kathy says:

    If jobless claims go down, do Republicans focus on layoffs at the unemployment office?

  3. MarkedMan says:

    To put things further in perspective, in 1969 the US population was 200M. Today it is 330M. Proportionally this is really the equivalent of a 122,000 jobless rate. Let’s go Brandon!

  4. EddieInCA says:

    I commented on this in the open thread from a few days ago. This is amazing news, yet almost no one knows about it.

  5. de stijl says:

    A year and a half ago I ran out of toilet paper at the very wrong time. It was late March 2020.

    No toilet paper. No paper towels. That aisle was completely bare.

    Trump bragged a few days back about Biden’s supply chain and how there were no bare shelves on his watch. Dude! Documented proof. Whatever – away with your sorry ass. Begone with you.

    I was savvy enough to know they had paper napkins two aisles over. People did not think it through all the way. The picnic aisle with disposable plates and cups and utensils and that stuff.

    I scored two packs of napkins. Enough to see me through – no more. I am not a filthy hoarder.

  6. de stijl says:


    Ds are god awful at messaging.

  7. gVOR08 says:

    @Kathy: No. I can’t find it again, but one of the business publications already notoriously reported record low 1.9% unemployment in Nebraska as a major problem. It creates a shortage of people willing to do shitty jobs for sub-minimum wages. Service backups, and wait times at restaurants, and INFLATION!!!, don’t you know?

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Clearly good news for McCain Trump.

  9. de stijl says:


    God help us if peons and thralls can work their way up the ladder and demand and get a proper wage.

    And we think of ourselves as a classless society.

  10. wr says:

    @EddieInCA: “I commented on this in the open thread from a few days ago. This is amazing news, yet almost no one knows about it.”

    Unfortunately it was released the day before Thanksgiving…

  11. Kathy says:


    You know I’m fond of saying there’s a downside to everything. Still, that doesn’t mean the GQP is right in looking for clouds in every silver lining. Not when there are other solutions, like paying more in order to attract people from out of state (sounds better than immigrants).

    We may be a few percentage points away from some Republican governor, firm believer in the free market, instituting labor conscription to protect the profits of the wealthy (That slope got slippery real fast).