Initial Claims Drop Under 500K
Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to under 500,000 for the first time in more than a year, a further indication ahead of this morning’s employment report that the nation’s economic recovery—and rapid jobs creation—continue to gain steam.
The Labor Department yesterday reported for the week ending May 1, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims fell to 498,000, a decrease of 92,000 from the previous week to the lowest level since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The four-week moving average dropped to 560,000, a decrease of 61,000 from the previous week to the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.6 percent for the week ending April 24. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 24 rose to 3,690,000, an increase of 37,000 from the previous week’s level, which revised down by 7,000 from 3,660,000 to 3,653,000. The four-week moving average fell to 3,675,750, a decrease of 6,750 from the previous week’s revised average to the lowest level since March 28, 2020, when it was 3,611,750.
The report said the advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 504,670 in the week ending May 1, a decrease of 107,390 (or -17.5 percent) from the previous week; seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 15,508 (or -2.5 percent) from the previous week. Labor reported 2,793,245 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. In addition, for the week ending May 1, 52 states reported 101,214 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate remained unchanged at 2.7 percent during the week ending April 24. The advance unadjusted level of insured unemployment in state programs totaled 3,786,096, an increase of 2,533 (or 0.1 percent) from the preceding week; seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 34,614 (or -0.9 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 14.9 percent and the volume was 21,754,246.
The report said the total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending April 17 fell to 16,157,024, a decrease of 404,509 from the previous week. Labor reported 17,847,707 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2020.
“Jobless claims continued to catch up with other labor market data that have showed the jobs recovery picking up speed,” said Sarah House, Senior Economist with Wells Fargo Securities, Charlotte, N.C.
On Wednesday, ADP, Roseland, N.J. said private-sector employment jumped by 742,000 jobs from March to April.
This morning at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its April Employment report. Mortgage Bankers Association Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni will provide commentary and analysis for the Monday, May 10 edition of MBA NewsLink.