I have been arguing that “Spring Curse” in the US economy is mostly a statistical echo, coupled with some genuinely unfortunate events that occurred last year. One data source I have been looking at to track this is the Not Seasonally Adjusted Year-over-Year change in Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance.

Said, more simply the following graph asks: How many greater (or fewer) people applied for unemployment insurance this year than in the same week last year. This has been trending at around 40,000 since last summer.

FRED Graph

There was a bit of a scare a few weeks ago seemingly related to the different timing of the Easter Holiday. That has been repaid and as we look forward what we would like to see is the level of improvement run a bit better than 40K to make up for the genuinely bad luck of last Spring.

However, the general message is that the glide path of improvement has been pretty steady for over a year now.