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Unemployment Claims Continue the Steady Decline, But Overall Jobless Exceed 50 Million

The unemployment rate has gone through the roof in the US, as in other countries. The unemployment claims jumped up to 6 million a week for the last two weeks of March. They have cooled off since then, but still remain in the millions every week and the total number of unemployment has exceeded 40 million. Below is the employment report for last week, as well as trade balance and productivity reports:

  • Initial jobless claims 1877K vs. 1843K estimated.
  • Prior week revised to 2126K from 2123K previously reported
  • Initial jobless claims four-week average 2284K vs. 2608.75K last week
  • Continuing claims 21487K vs. 20000K estimate. Prior week revised to 20838K from 21052K previously reported
  • Continuing claims 4 week moving average 22446.25K vs. a revised to 2668.75K.
  • Total initial jobless claims have now reached 42.7 million
  • In the week of May 16, 35 states reported 10.741 million individuals claiming pandemic unemployment assistance benefits or PUA.These benefits are not included in the weekly statistics.  28 states reported 209,692 individuals claiming pandemic emergency unemployment compensation benefits. These benefits are to self employed and independent contractors who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic (or Uber economy).  As a result, the overall numbers are worse than reported.

US final first quarter productivity data

  • Q1 final non-farm productivity -0.9% vs -2.7% expected
  • Q4 of 2020 was -2.5%
  • Unit labor costs +5.1% vs +5.0% exp
  • Prior unit labor costs +4.8%

Highlights of US trade balance for April 2020

  • Trade balance for April -$49.4B vs -$49.4B estimate
  • Trade deficit $-49.4 billion which was the expected value.
  • Prior month came in at $42.3 billion
  • Trade deficit rose 16.7% in April
  • Trade deficit excluding petroleum $52.62 billion in April
  • Imports plunged -13.7% in April 2 $200.69 billion from $232.52 billion
  • Exports plunged -20.5% in April 2 $151.28 billion from $190.18 billion in March
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Skerdian Meta
Lead Analyst
Skerdian Meta Lead Analyst. Skerdian is a professional Forex trader and a market analyst. He has been actively engaged in market analysis for the past 11 years. Before becoming our head analyst, Skerdian served as a trader and market analyst in Saxo Bank's local branch, Aksioner. Skerdian specialized in experimenting with developing models and hands-on trading. Skerdian has a masters degree in finance and investment.
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