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Jobless Claims: Skewed By CA, Model Says Declining Again

October 1, 2020

Bottom Line: Jobless claims fell only modestly last week as the State of California announced a two-week pause in its processing of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits to process backlogs and implement a fraud protection system. The national data released by the BLS assumes claims in California were unchanged for now. They will follow with revisions in three weeks when California begins reporting again. With that caveat reported claims were 837k for the week, 787k on a non-seasonally adjusted basis.

Last week's tally was a touch above the forecast from our Nowcasting model, 737k . But we'd estimate that claims in California will likely be lower in the week when they are finally reported. The model for this week, to be reported next Thursday, suggests claims should continue to fall, likely coming in below 700k for the first time since the pandemic. That said, the BLS' assumption that California is unchanged for now could skew the reported figure.

Jobless Claims FELL by 36k during the week ended September 26th to 837k, compared with market expectations for a decline to 850k. The 4-week average FELL by 11.8k to 867k and the 13-week average FELL by 43.9k to 1085k.

Continuing Claims FELL by 980k during the week ended September 19th to 11,767k, after the prior week was revised slightly lower from 13,385k to 12,747k.The 4-week average FELL by 381k to 12,701k.

On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 177k to 12,264k during the week ended September 12nd.

The Insured Jobless Rate FELL by 0.1% to 8.6% during the week ended September 19th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.

Article by Contingent Macro Advisors