Unemployment claims are a useful indicator of the health of the state’s economy. As the figure below shows, unemployment claims have been near historic lows for over a year. April 2019 claims continued to be low by historic standards, totaling 169,000. April was the third lowest monthly claims total in the last decade. (We apply a “seasonal adjustment” to the claims data because some months are predictably higher or lower than others.)
After increasing somewhat at the end of 2018, unemployment claims now seem to have returned to a downward trend in the beginning of 2019. April claims were down 14,000 from a month ago and 12,000 from a year ago. Overall, unemployment claims continue to signal a strong labor market and offer little evidence of an impending economic slowdown.
Source: United States Department of Labor with LAO calculations