Jobless Claims: Concerning Uptick

December 10, 2020
Bottom Line: Claims in CA and IL rose sharply in the week following Thanksgiving. While there is usually a jump in claims following the week of the Thanksgiving holiday, this was significantly more than the seasonal factors forecasted, particularly in those two states. The timing of the Thanksgiving holiday makes traditional seasonal adjustments difficult, thus we should beware of suggesting a turn in trend. That said, the stickiness of claims around 700 - 750k and the latest increases bear close watching as more layoffs come amid new shutdowns for the latest spike in virus cases. Our Nowcasting model suggests claims have increased again this week, potentially pushing above 900k. Jobless Claims ROSE by 137k during the week ended December 5th to 853k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 725k. The 4-week average ROSE by 35.5k to 776k and the 13 week average FELL by 3.1k to 794k. Continuing Claims ROSE by 230k during the week ended November 28th to 5,757k, after the prior week was revised moderately lower from 13,385k to 5,527k. The 4-week average FELL by 260k to 5,936k. On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims ROSE by 533k to 5,781k during the week ended November 21st. The Insured Jobless Rate ROSE by 0.1% to 3.9% during the week ended November 28th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.