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Jobless Claims: Below 1 Million For First Time in 20+ Weeks

August 13, 2020

Bottom Line: Initial claims declined moderately and are at their lowest level since March 13th. The 4-week average is at 1.25 million, below the 13-week average that is now 1.55 million, suggesting the trend continues to improve modestly, albeit from unprecedented levels with over 32 million people collecting some form of unemployment benefits.

Our Nowcasting model, based on Google search data, suggested non-seasonally adjusted claims would be 850k, very close to the 832k reported. The current week, to be reported next Thursday looks to be running a touch higher at 905k.

Jobless Claims FELL by 228k during the week ended August 8th to 963k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 1100k. The 4-week average FELL by 86.3k to 1253k and the 13-week average FELL by 132.6k to 1545k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 604k during the week ended August 1st to 15,486k after the prior week was revised modestly lower from 17,018k to 16,090k. The 4-week average FELL by 455k to 16,170k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 625k to 15,208k during the week ended July 25th.

The Insured Jobless Rate FELL by 0.4% to 10.6% during the week ended August 1st. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors