Initial Claims Persist at Disconcerting Rate
Initial claims for unemployment insurance ticked back up last week, the Labor Department reported yesterday—another indicator of just how persistent economic conditions have been since the coronavirus hit this past winter and spring.
For the week ending September 19, Labor reported the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims rose to 870,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The four-week moving average fell to 878,250, a decrease of 35,250 from the previous week’s revised average.
The report said the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate fell slightly to 8.6 percent for the week ending September 12, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment—also known as continuing claims—during the week ending September 12 fell to 12,580,000, a decrease of 167,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The four-week moving average fell to 13,040,750, a decrease of 478,000 from the previous week’s revised average.
“The labor market’s recovery is occurring in fits and starts, with initial jobless claims ticking up to 870,000 last week,” said Sarah House, Senior Economist with Wells Fargo Securities, Charlotte, N.C. “Initial jobless claims for regular state benefits edged up last week on both a seasonally and non-seasonally adjusted basis, illustrating the still fragile state of the labor market’s recovery.”