Thursday, March 26, 2020

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims Increase to 3,283,000

by Calculated Risk on 3/26/2020 08:35:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending March 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 3,283,000, an increase of 3,001,000 from the previous week's revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous high was 695,000 in October of 1982. The previous week's level was revised up by 1,000 from 281,000 to 282,000. The 4-week moving average was 998,250, an increase of 765,750 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 250 from 232,250 to 232,500.
emphasis added
The previous week was revised up.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased to 998,250.

This was much higher than the consensus forecast.

This week initial claims skyrocketed, and next week continued claims will follow.

The second graph shows seasonally adjust continued claims since 1967.

At the worst of the Great Recession, continued claims peaked at 6.635 million, but then steadily declined.

Over the next few weeks, continued claims will increase rapidly to a new record high, and then will likely stay at that high level until the crisis abates.