Thursday, February 11, 2021

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 793,000

by Calculated Risk on 2/11/2021 08:41:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending February 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 793,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 33,000 from 779,000 to 812,000. The 4-week moving average was 823,000, a decrease of 33,500 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 8,250 from 848,250 to 856,500.
emphasis added
This does not include the 334,524 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 368,977 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 823,000.

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.

Regular state continued claims decreased to 4,545,000 (SA) from 4,690,000 (SA) the previous week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.

Note: There are an additional 8,715,306 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that increased from 7,218,801 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.  And an additional 4,777,842 receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) up from 3,604,894.

Weekly claims were higher than the consensus forecast, and the previous week was revised up sharply.