Jobless Claims Again More than Forecast, But Continue to Trend Down
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) reported initial jobless claims rose slightly more than expected by 2,438,000 for the week ending May 16, due to the mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s a decrease of 249,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised 2,687,000.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 1,700,000 to a high of 2,600,000. The consensus forecast was 2,375,000. Roughly 37 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 3,042,000, a decline of 501,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 73,500 from 3,616,500 to 3,543,000.
Lagging Jobless Claims Data
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate rose again to 17.2% for the week ending May 9, an increase of 1.7%. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.2 from 15.7% to 15.5%.
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 9 came in at 25,073,000, an increase of 2,525,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 285,000 from 22,833,000 to 22,548,000.
The 4-week moving average was 22,002,250, an increase of 2,313,500. The previous week’s average was revised down by 71,250 from 19,760,000 to 19,688,750.
Extended Benefits were available in Connecticut, Michigan, and Rhode Island during the week ending May 2.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending May 2 were in Nevada (23.5), Michigan (22.6), Washington (22.1), Rhode Island (19.9), New York (19.6), Connecticut (19.3), Puerto Rico (19.2), Mississippi (18.8), Vermont (18.8), and Georgia (18.5).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 9 were in Florida (+48,222), Georgia (+14,420), Washington (+8,615), New York (+4,309), and South Dakota (+1,340), while the largest decreases were in California (-103,590), Texas (-102,382), Oklahoma (-54,806), North Carolina (-28,602), and Missouri (-21,382).