Thursday, June 11, 2009

Unemployment Claims: Record 6.8 Million Continued Claims

by Bill McBride on 6/11/2009 08:30:00 AM

The DOL reports on weekly unemployment insurance claims:

In the week ending June 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 601,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 625,000. The 4-week moving average was 621,750, a decrease of 10,500 from the previous week's revised average of 632,250.
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The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 30 was 6,816,000, an increase of 59,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 6,757,000.
Weekly Unemployment Claims Click on graph for larger image in new window.

This graph shows weekly claims and continued claims since 1971.

Continued claims increased to 6.82 million. This is 5.1% of covered employment.

Note: continued claims peaked at 5.4% of covered employment in 1982 and 7.0% in 1975. So this isn't a record as a percent of covered employment.

The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased this week by 10,500, and is now 37,000 below the peak of 8 weeks ago. There is a reasonable chance that claims have peaked for this cycle, but continued claims are still increasing - so it is still too early to call.

The level of initial claims (over 601 thousand) is still high, indicating significant weakness in the job market.