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Thursday, May 20, 2021

Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decrease to 444,000

by Calculated Risk on 5/20/2021 08:36:00 AM

The DOL reported:

In the week ending May 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 444,000, a decrease of 34,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week's level was revised up by 5,000 from 473,000 to 478,000. The 4-week moving average was 504,750, a decrease of 30,500 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,250 from 534,000 to 535,250.
emphasis added
This does not include the 95,086 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 103,678 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 504,750.

The previous week was revised up.

Regular state continued claims increased to 3,751,000 (SA) from 3,640,000 (SA) the previous week.

Note: There are an additional 6,605,416 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that decreased from 7,284,088 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 5,141,311 receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) down from 5,291,528.

Weekly claims were lower than the consensus forecast.