The tidal wave of filings for jobless benefits is receding, but levels remain at unprecedented highs. There were 4.267 million unemployment claims in the April 18 week, down 697,173 from 4.965 million in the prior week. Since the March 21 report, there have been 24.379 million claims filed. I continue to watch the unadjusted levels in preference to the seasonally adjusted data since the factors bear no relation to current events. Unadjusted data is closer to underlying conditions in the labor market.
Once more the Labor Department noted, “The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment.” Claims were estimated for Pennsylvania and Florida.
The unadjusted level of insured unemployment rose 3.979 million to 16.439 million in the April 11 week claims were approved and workers began to receive benefits in unprecedented numbers. The unadjusted rate of insured unemployment rose 2.7 points to 11.3%, an historic high.
The speed and magnitude of the deterioration in the claims data has no realistic comparisons. However, it is safe to say that it is straining existing systems and funding for those eligible for benefits.
Disclaimer: Whetstone Analysis provides commentary as a service to its subscribers. Whetstone Analysis is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within the site. While the information contained within the site is periodically updated and every effort is made to ensure its accuracy, no guarantee is given that the information provided in this Web site is correct, complete, and up-to-date. Click here to read our full Disclaimer.