Jobless Claims: Surprise Increase But Continuing Claims Fall

August 20, 2020
Bottom Line: Initial claims rose, mostly due to seasonal adjustments for last week. The unadjusted data rose just over 50k to 892k, in-line with our estimates from our Nowcasting model. Overall, the trend remains towards modestly lower claims as contnuing claims continued to decline, falling below 15 million for the first time since the shutdowns for the novel coronavirus. Our Nowcasting model, based on Google search data, suggests non-seasonally adjusted claims in the current week, to be reported next Thursday, are running at 812k. Jobless Claims ROSE by 135k during the week ended August 15th to 1106k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 920k. The 4-week average FELL by 79.0k to 1176k and the 13-week average FELL by 103.1k to 1443k. Continuing Claims FELL by 636k during the week ended August 8th to 14,844k, after the prior week was revised moderately lower from 17,018k to 15,480k.The 4-week average FELL by 327k to 15,841k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 936k to 14,265k during the week ended August 1st. The Insured Jobless Rate FELL by 0.4% to 10.2% during the week ended August 8th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.