Jobless Claims: Downtrend Resumes

October 22, 2020
Bottom Line: Jobless claims fell last week and were revised lower for the prior week. In last week's report, we noted that the increases looked anomalous in a few states, and indeed those data were revised lower. The State of California resumed reporting claims after a three-week hiatus to address backlogs and fraud. Claims there fell, as did those in Florida and Georgia. Last week's non-seasonally adjusted tally, just under 757k, was even below the forecast from our Nowcasting model, which had suggested a significant decline. This week's model, to be reported next Thursday, suggests claims may edge modestly higher again next week. Overall, claims are still heading in the right direction but proving stubborn around the 800k per week level, and bear watching for signs that labor market improvement may be stalling. Jobless Claims FELL by 55k during the week ended October 17th to 787k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 870k. The 4-week average FELL by 21.5k to 811k and the 13 week average FELL by 48.8k to 959k. Continuing Claims FELL by 1024k during the week ended October 10th to 8,373k, after the prior week was revised moderately lower from 13,385k to 9,397k. The 4-week average FELL by 1094k to 10,086k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 1019k to 7,992k during the week ended October 3rd. The Insured Jobless Rate FELL by 0.7% to 5.7% during the week ended October 10th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.