Virgin Islands Initial Claims Report

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					                                               Virgin Islands Initial Claims Report
                                                            March 2009
                                                           (Unadjusted)

Initial claims for the month of March 2009 are 501. This large jump represents a 37% percentage change
over the prior period resulting in the average unemployment claims for 2009 at 406 thus far. This increase
is primarily a result of continued layoffs and reduced hours for many workers in the Virgin Islands. The
sectors impacted by this are primarily in the retail and the hotel industry, and splintered across numerous
other sectors that indirectly rely on the tourism based economy. Current employment statistics bolster
these numbers with the total non farm employment reflecting a (1.6%) decrease on an over the year
basis, and private sector employment down by (2.4%).


                                                 Unemployment Initial Claims 2009

                         600




                         500                                                                                      501




                         400
                                         374
   Number of Claims




                                                                             344

                         300




                         200




                         100




                           0
                                 Jan-09                               Feb-09                              Mar-09

                                 Jan-09                               Feb-09                              Mar-09
                      Series1      374                                 344                                  501
                                                                    Period (s)




________________________________________________________________________



Initial claims for unemployment insurance are a component of leading economic indicators. Claims represent the number of workers
filing for unemployment benefits following the loss of a job or reduction in work hours to less than 40 per week. Claims are sensitive
to changing economic conditions and are a good predictor of turning points. In the initial stages of economic recovery, layoffs are
slow and hiring accelerates with the result that claims drop. In the later stages of an expansion, as the economy begins to decelerate
and the labor market softens, layoffs occur at the margins of the workforce, hiring slows, and initial claims increase.

Data Source: Virgin Islands Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance, Employment and Training Report 5159. This report
captures all initial claims processed for a given time frame. The production of this report is monthly.




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Based on the underlying data, the trend of initial unemployment claims have increased over a 3 year
period. This trend has continued thus far for the first quarter of 2009. Despite seasonality factors within
the economy, claims have been increasing over the periods, with other economic indicators such as gross
receipts, job opening decreases, and slowdown in tourism arrivals in the latter half of 2008, signaling
direct effects of the national recession on the Territory’s economy.


                                                    Unemployment Initial Claims Trend
                                                             2006 -2009
                     700



                     600



                     500
    Initial Claims




                     400                                                                                                       2006
                                                                                                                               2007
                                                                                                                               2008
                                                                                                                               2009
                     300



                     200



                     100



                       0
                            Jan   Feb   Mar   Apr      May    Jun    Jul     Aug   Sep     Oct     Nov     Dec     Avg
                     2006   141   124   116   152      155    180    190     185   219     235     114     116     161
                     2007   202   179   187   187      185    254    252     192   247     293     213     156     212
                     2008   217   144   153   244      238    252    251     311   607     357     330     293     283
                     2009   374   344   501                                                                        406
                                                                    Period




________________________________________________________________________



Initial claims for unemployment insurance are a component of leading economic indicators. Claims represent the number of workers
filing for unemployment benefits following the loss of a job or reduction in work hours to less than 40 per week. Claims are sensitive
to changing economic conditions and are a good predictor of turning points. In the initial stages of economic recovery, layoffs are
slow and hiring accelerates with the result that claims drop. In the later stages of an expansion, as the economy begins to decelerate
and the labor market softens, layoffs occur at the margins of the workforce, hiring slows, and initial claims increase.

Data Source: Virgin Islands Department of Labor Unemployment Insurance, Employment and Training Report 5159. This report
captures all initial claims processed for a given time frame. The production of this report is monthly.




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