Initial Claims Drop, Remain Elevated
This week’s initial unemployment claims report from the Labor Department sounds an increasingly familiar theme: a slight drop from the previous week, tempered by the reality that claims remain highly elevated from pre-pandemic levels.
For the week ending November 7, Labor reported the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims fell to 709,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The four-week moving average fell to 755,250, a decrease of 33,250 from the previous week’s revised average.
The report said the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent for the week ending October 31, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 31—also known as continuing claims—fell to 6,786,000, a decrease of 436,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The four-week moving average fell to 7,575,750, a decrease of 653,000 from the previous week’s revised average.
“The labor market is far from ‘fixed,’” said Jay Bryson, Chief Economist with Wells Fargo Securities, Charlotte, N.C. “The number of initial jobless claims fell further last week. But, the total number of individuals who continue to file claims remains elevated.”
Bryson noted 21.157 million individuals filed some sort of unemployment claim during the week of October 24. “In short, the labor market, although improving, is far from ‘normal,’” he said.