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 2,981,000 for the week ending May 9, due to the mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s a decrease of 195,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised (7,000) level of 3,176,000.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 2,450,000 to a high of 2,600,000. The consensus forecast was 2,500,000. Roughly 35 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 was 3,616,500, a decrease of 564,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 7,000 from 4,173,500 to 4,180,500.
Lagging Jobless Claims Data
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate rose again to 15.7% for the week ending May 2, an increase of 0.3%. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.1 from 15.5% to 15.4%.
This marks the highest level of the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in the history of the series. However, it was the smallest increase since the start of the crisis.
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 May 2 was 22,833,000, an increase of 456,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised
down by 270,000 from 22,647,000 to 22,377,000.
The 4-week moving average was 19,760,000, an increase of 2,729,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 67,500 from 17,097,750 to 17,030,250.
No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending April 25.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending April 25 were in California (27.7), Michigan (23.1), Nevada (22.0), Pennsylvania (21.2), Rhode Island (20.6), Georgia (20.2), Vermont (20.0), New York (18.6), Connecticut (18.0), and Washington (18.0).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 2 were in Oklahoma (+41,385), Maryland (+25,318), New Jersey (+16,360), Maine (+8,452), and Puerto Rico (+4,600), while the largest decreases were in Florida (-258,243), Alabama (-45,981), Georgia (-38,213), Washington (-37,289), and Pennsylvania (-33,451).