New claims for unemployment again drop slightly for week of 10/3/20 (corrected from 10/8).

The number of new claims for unemployment for week ending 10/3/20 continues to decline a bit. Since 8/29/20 the new claims have been in the mid- to high 800 thousands. Change in the last five weeks, starting with 9/5/20 are +9K, -27K, +7K, -24K, -9K.

To again put this in context, before the government induced shutdown of the economy new claims averaged about 220K per week.

The number of continuing claims for unemployment is continuing to drop. I’m not sure why this is. Part is due to people going back to work.

Article at Wall Street Journal on 10/9/20, U.S. Unemployment Claims Remain Elevated Above 800,000, has additional info.

The article says that increasing numbers of people have exhausted their state-level unemployment and are now drawing on extended coverage from federal programs. Tally of people in that category rose from 1.8M to 2.0M for the reporting period.

Other people may have dropped out of the job market.

The data above does not include the large layoffs last week from American Airlines, United Airlines, and Disney, which will add somewhere around 80K more to the unemployment rolls.

Also not reflected above is the State of California has such a large backlog of unemployment claims that they have stopped accepting new claims for two weeks.  This will allow them to catch up on their backlog. California has closed the front door for two weeks. Wow.

WSJ article also says the data is showing a sluggish economic recovery.

Following graphs show the devastation from the economic shutdown.

New claims

New claims for unemployment by week since the start of the year is graphed at the top of this post.

Continuing claims

The number of insured unemployed, in other words the number of people covered by unemployment insurance who are drawing checks is extremely high, but is continuing to drop.

Don’t know how to break out the cause for the tally dropping. In part it consists of people going back to work, some transitioning to the federal program, and other dropping out of the job market.

Insured unemployment rate

The proportion of people who are covered by unemployment insurance who are unemployed is also included in the weekly report. As you can see the insured unemployment rate is continuing to drop.

Data source

Weekly press release from the Department of labor: Unemployment insurance weekly claims. At the end of the report you can find weekly data for this year.

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