Weekly Unemployment Claims Up
“In the week ending July 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,434,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level. “
Here is the opening statement from the Department of Labor:
The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment. This report includes information on claimants filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims.
In the week ending July 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,434,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 6,000 from 1,416,000 to 1,422,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,368,500, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,750 from 1,360,250 to 1,362,000.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 11.6 percent for the week ending July 18, an increase of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 18 was 17,018,000, an increase of 867,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 46,000 from 16,197,000 to 16,151,000. The 4-week moving average was 17,058,250, a decrease of 435,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 11,500 from 17,505,250 to 17,493,750. [See full report]
This morning’s seasonally adjusted 1.43M new claims, up 12K from the previous week’s revised figure, was better than the Investing.com forecast of 1.45M.
Here is a close look at the data over the decade (with a callout for the past year), which gives a clearer sense of the overall trend in relation to the last recession.
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As we can see, there’s a good bit of volatility in this indicator, which is why the 4-week moving average (the highlighted number) is a more useful number than the weekly data. Here is the complete data series.
The headline Unemployment Insurance data is seasonally adjusted. What does the non-seasonally adjusted data look like? See the chart below, which clearly shows the extreme volatility of the non-adjusted data (the red dots). The 4-week MA gives an indication of the recurring pattern of seasonal change (note, for example, those regular January spikes).
Because of the extreme volatility of the non-adjusted weekly data, we can add a 52-week moving average to give a better sense of the secular trends. The chart below also has a linear regression through the data.
Here’s a look at each year’s claims going back to 2009.
For an analysis of unemployment claims as a percent of the labor force, see regularly updated piece The Civilian Labor Force, Unemployment Claims and the Business Cycle. Here is a snapshot from that analysis.
Here’s our complete list of monthly employment updates: