Coronavirus Continues to Crush Strongest Labor Market in History
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) reported initial jobless claims rose far more than expected to 6,648,000 for the week ending March 28, attributable to the coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised 3,283,000.
This is the highest level for initial jobless claims ever on record. Forecasts ranged from a low of 2,000,000 to a high of 4,450,000. The consensus forecast was 3,350,000.
The 4-week moving average was 2,612,000, an increase of 1,607,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,000 from 998,250 to 1,004,250.
Lagging Jobless Claims Data
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate rose 0.9% from a historically low 1.2% to 2.1% for the week ending March 21. The previous week was unrevised. The insured unemployment rate fell to historic lows one year into the Trump Administration. It is at the highest level now since May 3, 2014.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 21 rose 1,245,000 from the previous week’s revised level to 3,029,000. That is the highest level for insured unemployment since July 6, 2013 when it was 3,079,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 19,000 from 1,803,000 to 1,784,000.
The 4-week moving average rose 327,250 from the previous week’s revised average to 2,053,500. That is the highest level for this average since January 14, 2017 when it was 2,062,000. The previous week’s average was revised down by 4,750 from 1,731,000 to 1,726,250.
No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending March 14.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 14 were in Alaska (2.8), Connecticut (2.7), New Jersey (2.6), California (2.4), Massachusetts (2.3), Minnesota (2.3), Rhode Island (2.3), Montana (2.2), Pennsylvania (2.2), Illinois (2.1), and West Virginia (2.1).
All states reported increases in initial claims for the week ending March 21. The largest increases were in Pennsylvania (+362,012), Ohio (+189,263), Massachusetts (+141,003), Texas (+139,250), and California (+128,727), while the smallest increases were in the Virgin Islands (+79), South Dakota (+1,571), West Virginia (+2,671), Vermont (+3,125), and Wyoming (+3,136).
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