July 2021 Initial Unemployment Claims Rolling Average Continues To Modestly Decline

Market expectations for weekly initial unemployment claims (from Econoday) were 320 K to 393 K (consensus 353 K), and the Department of Labor reported 373,000 new claims. The more important (because of the volatility in the weekly reported claims and seasonality errors in adjusting the data) 4 week moving average moved from 394,750 (reported last week as 392,750) to 394,500

Analyst Opinion of Initial Unemployment Claims

Job's loss since the start of the pandemic is now 85,558,000. Many in this number are now employed or have dropped out of the workforce as all programs continuing claims number is 14,209,007, down from last week's 14,658,649

It should be pointed out that Econintersect watches the year-over-year change in the 4-week moving average. There is always some seasonality that migrates into the seasonally adjusted data, and year-over-year comparisons help remove some seasonality. The four-week rolling average of initial claims is 73 % LOWER than one year ago (versus the 73 % lower last week).

Claim levels before the coronavirus pandemic were at 40-year lows (with the normal range around 350,000 weekly initial unemployment claims of levels seen historically during times of economic expansion - see chart below).

From the Department of Labor:

In the week ending July 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 373,000, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 7,000 from 364,000 to 371,000. The 4-week moving average was 394,500, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week's average was revised up by 2,000 from 392,750 to 394,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4 percent for the week ending June 26, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 26 was 3,339,000, a decrease of 145,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 21, 2020 when it was 3,094,000. The previous week's level was revised up 15,000 from 3,469,000 to 3,484,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,440,750, a decrease of 44,500 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 21, 2020 when it was 2,071,750. The previous week's average was revised up by 3,500 from 3,481,750 to 3,485,250.

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