Jobless Claims: 26+ Million in 5 Weeks But Search Data Tops

April 23, 2020
Bottom Line: Another 4.27 million people (4.427 seasonally adjusted) sought jobless claims benefits last week, bringing the seasonally adjusted tally in the last five weeks to 26.4 million. Claims were lower in California and New York but were higher in Florida, where shutdowns were more recent. Google search data correctly predicated this decline after we adjusted for the backlog of claims in many states. Search data suggests next week should decline to just under 3.5 million. Finally, these data are for the survey week for the payroll employment report, which will likely show a historic drop of nearly 20 million payroll jobs and an unemployment rate in the high teens. Jobless Claims FELL by 810k during the week ended April 18th to 4427k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 5500k.The 4-week average ROSE by 280.0k to 5787k and the 13-week average ROSE by 323.6k to 2170k. Continuing Claims ROSE by 4064k during the week ended April 11st to 15,976k, after the prior week was revised moderately higher from 1,726k to 11,912k.The 4-week average ROSE by 3548k to 9,598k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 3979k to 16,439k during the week ended April 4th. The Insured Jobless Rate ROSE by 2.8% to 11.0% during the week ended April 11st. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.