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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. November 2019 claims continued to be low by historic standards, totaling 177,000. (We apply a “seasonal adjustment” to the claims data because some months are predictably higher or lower than others.)

Monthly Unemployment Claims in California

Unemployment claims have been relatively flat over the past year, fluctuating slightly around an average of about 175,000. This pattern signals a strong labor market and, contrary to other recent economic data, offers little evidence of an impending economic slowdown.

12 Month Trend in Unemployment Claims

Source: United States Department of Labor with LAO calculations


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