Thursday, January 21, 2021

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decreased to 900,000

by Calculated Risk on 1/21/2021 08:37:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending January 16, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 900,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 39,000 from 965,000 to 926,000. The 4-week moving average was 848,000, an increase of 23,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 9,750 from 834,250 to 824,500.
emphasis added
This does not include the 423,734 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was up from 284,886 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 848,000.

The previous week was revised down.

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.

Regular state continued claims decreased to 5,054,000 (SA) from 5,181,000 (SA) the previous week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.

Note: There are an additional 5,707,397 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that decreased from 7,442,888 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 3,026,952 are receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) that decreased from 4,166,261 the previous week. These numbers will increase now that the programs have been extended.