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Jobless Claims: Trend Still Lower For Now

August 5, 2021
Bottom Line: Initial jobless claims fell for the second week in a row, dropping back below 400k again. The 4-week average was at 394k, below the 13-week average of 404k, indicating the labor market trends are still improving modestly, despite the recent volatility.  The surge in Covid cases related to the delta variant is unlikely to cause a renewed spike in joblessness as there have been few shutdowns so far, but it will likely hinder further labor improvement for at least the next month.
Our Nowcast model suggests claims were running nearly unchanged this week.
Jobless Claims FELL by 14k during the week ended July 31st to 385k, compared with market expectations for an increase to 383k. The 4-week average FELL by 0.3k to 394k and the 13 week average FELL by 9.4k to 404k.
Continuing Claims
FELL by 366k during the week ended July 24th to 2,930k, The 4-week average FELL by 109k to 3,188k.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, Continuing Claims FELL by 393k to 2,881k during the week ended July 17th.

The Insured Jobless Rate
FELL by  0.3% to 2.1% during the week ended July 24th. The insured jobless rate only reflects the number of people collecting regular state unemployment insurance.