Thursday, September 17, 2020

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decreased to 860,000

by Calculated Risk on 9/17/2020 08:48:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending September 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 860,000, a decrease of 33,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 9,000 from 884,000 to 893,000. The 4-week moving average was 912,000, a decrease of 61,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,250 from 970,750 to 973,000.
emphasis added
The previous week was revised up.

This does not include the 658,737 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 868,314 the previous week. (There are some questions on PUA numbers).

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 912,000.

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 12,628,000 (SA) from 13,544,000 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.

Note: There are an additional 14,467,064 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that decreased from 14,656,297 the previous week (there are questions about these numbers). This is a special program for business owners, self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.