3/12/21: EconUpdate by P. Duffy

EconUpdate by P. Duffy


Initial unemployment claims dip 5.6 percent to lowest level since November

In the week ending March 6, initial unemployment claims were 712,000, a decrease of 42,000, or 5.6 percent, from the previous week’s revised level. Continued claims during the week ending February 27 were 4,144,000, a decrease of 193,000, or 4.5 percent, from the previous week’s revised level.  The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending February 20 was 20,116,302, an increase of 2,087,376, or 11.6 percent, from the previous week.


Job openings rose 2.4 percent in January, but still 3.2 million more unemployed vs. open jobs

The number of job openings rose 2.4 percent from the end of December to 6.9 million on the last business day of January.  Hires fell 2.0 percent to 5.3 million, while total separations fell 4.9 percent to 5.3 million, and quits fell 2.8 percent to 3.3 million.  There were 10.1 million officially unemployed persons in January, or 3.2 million more than job openings for the month.


U.S. homeowners with mortgages saw average equity gain of 16.2 percent in 2020

U.S. homeowners with mortgages (which account for roughly 62% of all properties) have seen their equity increase by 16.2% year over year, representing a collective equity gain of over $1.5 trillion, and an average gain of $26,300 per homeowner, since the fourth quarter of 2019.