Jobless Claims Worse than Forecast, But Continue Trending Down
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) reported initial jobless claims rose slightly more than expected by 3,169,000 for the week ending May 2, due to the mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s a decrease of 677,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised (7,000) level of 3,846,000.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 2,000,000 to a high of 3,420,000. The consensus forecast was 3,041,000. Roughly 30 million Americans are now out of work as a result of the efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
The 4-week moving average came in at 4,173,500, a decline of 861,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,750 from 5,033,250 to 5,035,000.
Lagging Jobless Claims Data
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate rose again to 15.5% for the week ending April 25, an increase of 3.1%. This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the series.
The first high during the current crisis was recorded at 8.2% for the week ending April 4. The all-time high prior to that was 7.0%, recorded in May of 1975. On April 11, it rose to 11.0% and 12.4% on April 25.
Under the Trump Administration, this rate had fallen to an all-time low 1.1% and remained at 1.2% just weeks ago, before coronavirus (COVID-19) mitigation efforts.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 25 was 22,647,000, an increase of 4,636,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 19,000 from 17,992,000 to 18,011,000.
The 4-week moving average was 17,097,750, an increase of 3,800,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 5,000 from 13,292,500 to 13,297,500
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending April 18 were in Vermont (25.2), West Virginia (21.9), Michigan (21.7), Rhode Island (20.4), Nevada (19.9), Connecticut (18.7), Puerto Rico (17.9), Georgia (17.3), New York (17.2), and Washington (17.1).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 25 were in Washington (+56,030), Georgia (+19,562), New York (+14,229), Oregon (+12,091), and Alabama (+8,534), while the largest decreases were in California (-203,017), Florida (-73,567), Connecticut (-69,767), New Jersey (-68,173), and Pennsylvania (-66,698).