As blog readers will know, we have been tracking new weekly claims for unemployment insurance in California as an indicator of labor market direction. During the past few weeks, California seemed to be going nowhere - no drop in claims - even as the U.S. labor market as a whole seemed to improve with the reopening. Finally, for the week ending June 5th, California claims dropped notably. Given the reopening and the accompanying reports of labor shortage, such a drop shouldn't be surprising. What was surprising was why it didn't happen sooner.