No Progress In Unemployment Claims For 4 Weeks

Initial unemployment claims have flatlined for about a month. Progress in continued claims has slowed.

Initial Claims

For the weeks ending August 29, September 5, September 12, and September 17 there were 884,000, 893,000, and 870,000, and 866,000 seasonally-adjusted claims respectively according to the Department of Labor.

Given margins of error on seasonally adjusted data, there has been no progress for four weeks.

Continued Claims

Continued State Unemployment Claims in 2020  Sep 24  Report

Continued claims lag initial claims by a week.

For the weeks ending August 29, and September 5, and September 17 there were  13,554,000, 12,747,000, and 12,580,000 seasonally-adjusted claims respectively.

The downward slope (pace of progress) has not changed since May. At the same pace of progress, continued claims will be above 10 million for many months.

It's continued state claims that determine the official unemployment rate, not that anyone of intelligence believes the BLS number.

The reference week for the unemployment report is the week that contains the 13th of the month. That week is the week ending August 15.

For August 15, there were 14,492,000 continued claims. Yet the BLS reported said there were 13,550,000 unemployed in August.

Questioning the Unemployment Rate

Questioning the BLS Unemployment Rate

There should be a minimum of 14,492,000 unemployed plus at least several more million gig and self-employed workers who do not qualify for state unemployment insurance.

The BLS says nope, just 13,550,000.

Next week is the reference week for the September jobs report.

Primary PUA Claims

Primary PUA Claims in 2020  Sep 24 Report

Primary PUA claims are not seasonally adjusted. They lag initial claims by two weeks and continued claims by a week.

Primary PUA claims dropped substantially this week. Perhaps people just gave up because there have been no pandemic assistance checks since the end of July.

The drop could represent seasonality. For example, teachers are back to work.

Unlike state claims, PUA claims cover part-time workers.

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