Little Progress On Unemployment Claims But Checks Grind To A Halt

One either applies for state benefits or Federal PUA, not both. Although there is no double-counting, there is overlap from an unemployment rate point of view. Part-time workers are considered employed.

But some number of those 11.828 million workers are genuinely unemployed. I suspect 2-3 million at a minimum. But they never show up in the unemployment numbers.

Heck, not even continued claims show up in the BLS numbers.

All Continued Claims

All Continued Claims in 2020 Oct 1 Report

All Continued Claims, like Primary PUA claims, are not seasonally adjusted. They also lag initial claims by two weeks and continued claims by a week.

The total for the latest week is 26.5million. This should realistically feed the U-6 unemployment rate but it doesn't.

Lost Pandemic Benefits

Pandemic benefits expired on July 25. Everyone in any program received $600 weekly benefits. However, Trump did send out $300 weekly checks. Those expired on September 5.

The average number of All Continued Claims between July 25 and September 5 is 28.29 million.

Lost pandemic benefits between July 25 and September 5 = 28.7 million * $300 per week * 6 weeks = $85.4 billion.

We also have an additional loss $300 per week since September 25. Relative to the April-July 25 $600 stimulus, that is 26 million * $600 * 4 weeks = $62.4 billion.

The total is about $147.8 billion that consumers would have spent but didn't.

Previously I did not account for the $300 weekly benefits and overstated the numbers.

BLS Methodology Change

For the reporting period ending August 29 (release date September 3) the BLS made a methodology change.

As a result of the change, the BLS reported 881,000 initial claims (now revised to 884,000). Under the previous methodology, the BLS would have reported 1,010,000 claims for that week.

The BLS did not back adjust the data and the change is suspect as well. Even if the change is accurate, the seasonal charts all reflect disjointed data.

For further discussion, please see Unemployment Claims Improve But It's a Manipulation Mirage.

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