The unadjusted level of initial jobless claims were up 187,538 to 6.203 million in the week ended April 4. At the moment, seasonal adjustment factors are essentially useless in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive and extraordinary increases in applications for unemployment benefits. The seasonally adjusted level was down 261,000 to 6.606 million. There is also no point in looking at the four-week moving average until next week as it will not accurately reflect the recent trend until then.
While the surge in new claims may have peaked, it will still be very large numbers filing for benefits in coming weeks as businesses are forced to make tough choices about retaining workers they can’t afford while closed.
The Labor Department said that COVID-19 was responsible for the surge in claims and that it was beginning to be reflected in the insured rate of unemployment. In the week, only Pennsylvania estimated claims.
Unadjusted continuing claims surged 4.761 million in the March 28 week to 8.178 million as the ranks of the unemployment swelled. The unadjusted insured rate of unemployment more than doubled to 5.6% in the March 28 week from 2.4% in the prior week.
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