Chart of the Week: Number of Americans Applying for Unemployment Benefits Lowest Since 2006

The economy is getting stronger thanks to the grit and resilience of American workers. Last month, total job growth exceeded 200,000 for the sixth straight month, the first time that’s happened since 1997. In fact, our private sector has added 9.9 million jobs for the last 53 straight months, the longest streak on record.

As the economy moves forward, the number of people who are applying for unemployment insurance is dropping. Just this week, the four-week moving average of initial claims for unemployment benefits hit their lowest level since 2006. And while this series can be volatile from week to week, a look at the longer-term picture shows the progress we have made. Take a look at where that number was during the Great Recession — and where we are now:

This chart shows that the four-week moving average of initial claims — a more accurate measure of unemployment claims than week-to-week data — has fallen to 293,500, the lowest level since February of 2006.

While we are making progress, there is still more work to do. President Obama’s priority continues to be restoring economic security for the middle class — and those working their way up to the middle class — to ensure that every hardworking American has the opportunity to get ahead. The President is committed to working with Congress to continue this momentum, but he won’t wait on Congress to do his job and invest in America’s economic growth.

Check out how the President is using his pen and his phone to create new manufacturing jobs, expand job training, make college more affordable, support equal pay and work flexibility, and strengthen security for America’s middle class.

Related Topics: Economy