Tomorrow a big economic measure will be announced: the national unemployment rate for October. As we have been doing over the past several months, we'd like to give Atlantic readers the opportunity to weigh in with their predictions for how the labor market fared last month. Vote below!
In September, the national unemployment rate increased modestly from 9.7% in August to 9.8%. Readers, however, showed their savvy at predicting the economic indicator with 34% correctly choosing 9.8% -- with more votes than any other option.
Today, last week's initial jobless claims data was released, and it continues to disappoint. The Labor Department reported that new claims totaled 512,000 last week. Although this is better than the prior week, it marks 51 weeks straight with initial claims above 500,000. But the good news is that continuing claims fell by 68,000 -- to the lowest level since March. While some of that might be people finding jobs, for others unemployment benefits may be running out. So the news is mixed and will make this month's prediction all the more challenging.