Chart of the Day: New Unemployment Claims Drop Sharply

Was last week’s unemployment drop a statistical fluke? There’s no way to say for sure, but I think the evidence suggests that it’s mostly quite real. Today, via Steve Benen, we get further confirmation of this: initial unemployment claims, which have been on a steady downward trajectory for the past two years, have dropped sharply over the past month, culminating in an unexpected drop of 30,000 in just the past week. The usual caveat applies: this is a noisy series and a single data point doesn’t prove anything. But this recent drop is in line with both September’s encouraging unemployment number as well as the overall trend of the past two years. Sorry, Jack.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.