Thursday, August 27, 2020

Comments on Weekly Unemployment Claims

by Calculated Risk on 8/27/2020 12:49:00 PM

Earlier: Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 1,006,000

This was the 23rd consecutive week with extraordinarily high initial claims.

More importantly, continued claims are still extremely high (second graph).

The following graph shows regular initial unemployment claims (blue) and PUA claims (red) since early February.

Click on graph for larger image.

Initial claims, including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) are still above 1.6 million per week.

The worst week during the great recession was 665,000. So initial claims are still about 1 million per week higher than the worst week of the great recession!

We are probably seeing some layoffs related to the higher level of COVID cases and also from the end of some Payroll Protection Programs (PPP).

The second graph shows all person receiving unemployment insurance benefits on all programs. Note that this data is released with a lag, and is not seasonally adjusted.

There are typically around 2 million people receiving benefits from the various programs (mostly regular unemployment insurance).

As of the release this morning, there were still 27 million people receiving benefits as of August 8th.