Weekly Jobless Claims, Long-Term Unemployment Stumped after Sharp Decline
Washington, D.C. (PPD) — The U.S. Labor Department (DOL) reported initial jobless claims held at a seasonally-adjusted 884,000 for the week ending September 5. The previous week was upwardly revised slightly by 3,000 from 881,000.
Forecasts ranged from a low of 795,000 to a high of 915,000. The consensus forecast was 828,000.
The 4-week moving average fell again, down 21,750 to 970,750. The previous week’s average was revised up by 750 from 991,750 to 992,500.
Lagging Jobless Claims Data
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate fell to single digits for the week ending August 15 at 9.9%, and fell another 0.8 to 9.1% for August 22. But it ticked higher 0.1 to 9.2% for the week ending August 29.
The insured unemployment rate hit the first high of the current crisis 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, as recently as March 14. But that was before coronavirus (COVID-19) mitigation efforts.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 29 rose 93,000 to 13,385,000. The previous week was revised up 38,000 from 13,254,000 to 13,292,000.
The 4-week moving average was 13,982,000, a decline of 523,750. The previous week was revised up by 9,500 from 14,496,250 to 14,505,750.
As the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) stated in the report on job openings and labor turnover (JOLTS) released on Wednesday, the ongoing effort to curtail the resumption of economic activity following the pandemic is hurting the recovery in the labor market. Still, the number of job openings rose significantly more than expected in July, up to 6.6 million from an upwardly revised 6.0 million
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending August 22 were in Hawaii (20.3), Puerto Rico (16.7), Nevada (16.0), New York (14.9), California (14.8), Connecticut (14.7), Louisiana (13.2), the Virgin Islands (12.6), Georgia (12.2), and District of Columbia (11.5).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 29 were in California (+22,647), Texas (+4,521), Louisiana (+3,662), Tennessee (+1,288), and Missouri (+1,226), while the largest decreases were in Florida (-6,057), Georgia (-5,485), Pennsylvania (-2,627), Wisconsin (-1,422), and Michigan (-1,159).
Extended Benefits were available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and D.C. during the week ending August 15.