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Jobless Claims: 6.6+ Million Workers Apply for Unemployment

April 2, 2020

Bottom Line: The level and speed of job layoffs in the wake of shutdowns for the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, is unprecedented and stunning. Over 6.6 million people filed for unemployment insurance last week. This was nearly twice the prior week's total as trade and construction workers joined workers from the service industry. The Department of Labor noted:

“The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims. Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus. States continued to identify increases related to the services industries broadly, again led by accommodation and food services. However, state comments indicated a wider impact across industries. Many states continued to cite the health care and social assistance, and manufacturing industries, while an increasing number of states identified the retail and wholesale trade and construction industries.”


Advanced state-level details suggest these tallies may still be low relative to some of the reports directly from states and anecdotal evidence. Expect several more weeks of seven-figure increases in jobless claims.

Jobless Claims ROSE by 3341k during the week ended March 28th to 6648k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 3763k.The 4-week average ROSE by 1607.8k to 2612k and the 13 week average ROSE by 494.5k to 950k.

Continuing Claims ROSE by 1245k during the week ended March 21st to 3,029k, after the prior week was revised slightly higher from 1,726k to 1,784k.The 4-week average ROSE by 328k to 2,054k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 1309k to 3,383k during the week ended March 14th.

The Insured Jobless Rate ROSE by 0.9% to 2.1% during the week ended March 21st. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors