Jobless Claims Hit Forecast, Continue to Trend Down
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) reported initial jobless claims rose as expected by 2,123,000 for the week ending May 23, due to the mitigation efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). That’s a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised 2,446,000.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 1,800,000 to a high of 2,138,000. The consensus forecast was 2,100,000. Roughly 41 million Americans have filed as a result of the efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Lagging Jobless Claims Data
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate fell 2.6 percentage points to 14.5% for the week ending May 16. That’s the first decline since the start of the crisis and the rate for the previous week was revised down by 0.1 from 17.2% to 17.1%.
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 16 was 21,052,000, a decrease of 3,860,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 161,000 from 25,073,000 to 24,912,000.
The 4-week moving average was 22,722,250, an increase of 760,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 40,250 from 22,002,250 to 21,962,000.
Extended Benefits were available in Alaska, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia during the week ending May 9.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending May 9 were in Washington (31.2), Nevada (26.7), Florida (25.0), Hawaii (23.4), Michigan (23.1), California (20.6), New York (19.9), Rhode Island (18.8), Vermont (18.2), Connecticut (18.0), and Georgia (18.0).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 16 were in California (+31,764), Washington (+29,288), New York (+24,543), Florida (+2,322), and Michigan (+1,549), while the largest decreases were in Georgia (-65,041), New Jersey (-27,324), Kentucky (-22,051), Louisiana (-11,580), and Pennsylvania (-11,172).