Thursday, September 24, 2020

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 870,000

by Calculated Risk on 9/24/2020 08:37:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending September 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 870,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 6,000 from 860,000 to 866,000. The 4-week moving average was 878,250, a decrease of 35,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,500 from 912,000 to 913,500.
emphasis added
This does not include the 630,080 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 675,154 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 878,250.

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 12,580,000 (SA) from 12,747,000 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.

Note: There are an additional 11,510,888 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that decreased from 14,467,064 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.