Thursday, December 03, 2020

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decreased to 712,000

by Calculated Risk on 12/03/2020 08:38:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending November 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 712,000, a decrease of 75,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 9,000 from 778,000 to 787,000. The 4-week moving average was 739,500, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,250 from 748,500 to 750,750.
emphasis added
This does not include the 288,701 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 318,855 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 increased to 739,500.

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 5,520,000 (SA) from 6,089,000 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.

Note: There are an additional 8,869,502 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that decreased from 9,208,570 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. 

An additional 4,569,016 are receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) that increased from 4,509,284 the previous week. These last two programs are set to expire on December 26th.

This was lower than expected.