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US Jobless Claims Continue to Decline, But Still Remain High

The unemployment claims surged higher in US during the last two weeks of March, peaking at above 6 million in those two weeks as the country went into lockdown. The claims have been cooling off since then, falling below 2 million, but they still remain quite high and the number of unemployed Americans has crossed 20 million due to the lockdown.

Today they beat expectations falling to 1,542K. Below is the unemployment claims report:

  • Initial jobless claims 1542K vs 1550K estimate. The prior week was revised to 1897K from 1877’K last week
  • Initial jobless claims 4 week moving average 2002.00K vs 2288.25K
  • continuing claims 20929K vs 20000K estimate. The prior week was revised to 21268K from 21487K the previous week
  • Continuing claims 4 week moving average 21987.50 vs 22392.25K last week.
  • During the week ending May 23, 42 states reported 9,715,948 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits or PUA. These benefits are not included in the weekly statistics. A total of 32 states reported 518,942 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.

The Non-farm payroll and the initial claims are certainly at odds with each other. Yes, there may have been rehires, but these numbers continue to show 1.5M new job losses and the continuing claims at +20M.

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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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