Jobless Claims: Trend Improves Further

August 6, 2020
Bottom Line: Claims fell sharply in the week ended August 1st as the trend improved further. We noted for the last several weeks that the underlying trend was better than it appeared because of heavy seasonal adjustments. This report, with only a modest seasonal adjustment, further confirmed that. For now, federal unemployment supplemental payments of $600 per month expired last week. Headlines about that may be keeping some from filing claims -- and that could reverse once a fiscal deal with some amount of renewed supplement is reached. Overall, the trend is improving modestly amid continued staggering unemployment with over 32 million people collecting some form of unemployment benefits. Our Nowcasting model, based on Google search data, suggests claims have edged lower again this week. As of this morning, It indicated the current week ending Saturday and reported next Thursday would be down to 883k. Jobless Claims FELL by 249k during the week ended August 1st to 1186k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 1400k. The 4-week average FELL by 31.0k to 1338k and the 13-week average FELL by 153.1k to 1678k. Continuing Claims FELL by 844k during the week ended July 25th to 16,107k. The 4-week average FELL by 413k to 16,628k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 966k to 15,850k during the week ended July 18th. The Insured Jobless Rate FELL by 0.6% to 11.0% during the week ended July 25th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.