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Thursday, September 03, 2020

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 833,352 NSA

by Calculated Risk on 9/03/2020 08:39:00 AM

Note: The DOL has changed their seasonal adjustment method, so to compare to the previous week, we need to use the NSA data.  See Technical Note on Weekly Unemployment Claims

The Not Seasonally Adjusted (NSA) claims increased to 833,352 from 825,761 the previous week. These are directly comparable since the Seasonal Adjustment Factor was identical for both weeks.

The DOL reported:

In the week ending August 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 881,000, a decrease of 130,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 1,006,000 to 1,011,000. The 4-week moving average was 991,750, a decrease of 77,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,250 from 1,068,000 to 1,069,250.
emphasis added
The previous week was revised up.

This does not include the 759,482 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was up from 607,808 the previous week.

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 decreased to 991,750.

The previous week was revised up.

The second graph shows seasonally adjust continued claims since 1967 (lags initial by one week).

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

Continued claims decreased to 13,254,000 (SA) from 14,492,000 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.

Note: There are an additional 13,570,327 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that increased from 10,972,770 the previous week. This is a special program for business owners, self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.