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Thu Jul 9, 2020, 08:42 AM

U.S. weekly jobless claims stay elevated; labor market improvement stalling

Source: Reuters

BUSINESS NEWSJULY 9, 2020 / 8:37 AM / UPDATED 4 MINUTES AGO

U.S. weekly jobless claims stay elevated; labor market improvement stalling

Lucia Mutikani
3 MIN READ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Weakening demand and a resurgence in new COVID-19 cases are keeping new U.S. applications for unemployment benefits extraordinarily high, suggesting the labor market remains fragile despite record job growth in June.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits totaled a seasonally adjusted 1.314 million for the week ended July 4, down from 1.413 million in the prior week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 1.375 million applications in the latest week.

{snip}

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-economy/u-s-weekly-jobless-claims-stay-elevated-labor-market-improvement-stalling-idUSKBN24A1V6



https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf

News Release
Connect with DOL at https://blog.dol.gov

TRANSMISSION OF MATERIALS IN THIS RELEASE IS EMBARGOED UNTIL
8:30 A.M. (Eastern) Thursday, July 9, 2020

COVID-19 Impact
The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims and insured unemployment. This report includes
information on claimants filing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment
Compensation claims.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE WEEKLY CLAIMS
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA

In the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,314,000, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 14,000 from 1,427,000 to 1,413,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,437,250, a decrease of 63,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 3,500 from 1,503,750 to 1,500,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 12.4 percent for the week ending June 27, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week's revised rate. The previous week's rate was revised down by 0.3 from 13.2 to 12.9 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 27 was 18,062,000, a decrease of 698,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised down by 530,000 from 19,290,000 to 18,760,000. The 4-week moving average was 19,085,500, a decrease of 636,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised down by 132,500 from 19,854,000 to 19,721,500.

{snip the rest of the 11-page release}

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 08:48 AM

1. With the sudden, record-breaking spikes in COVID-19 cases in the sunbelt

and upticks in places that had managed to control it in the spring, the labor market certainly will stall over the next couple months or so, since so much of the economy is service-sector related, and that industry tends to have its peak usage during the summer months.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 08:56 AM

2. Republicans accept full blame

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 08:58 AM

3. Expected. Forcing workers back to work does not force customers into stores & restaurants


Most people have more sense than the tRump mal-administration, more sense than RepubliCon governors.

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Response to Bernardo de La Paz (Reply #3)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 02:53 PM

10. Supply vs Demand

Republicans seem to think that demand will expand and consume all available supply. That is pure nonsense. Expanding supply without demand pushing that expansion will just result in inventory build-up and that will quickly result in cut-backs and lay-offs. That is the way it has always worked. Talk won't change that in any material way.

On the jobs front, at the peak of the Great Recession the initial claims never exceeded 750,000 in a week. We now have something like 16 straight weeks with over 1,000,000 initial claims. Based on projections using this data it is now estimated that the unemployment rate will remain about 10% through the end of the year. I would not argue with these projections. It will require more stimulus to get things coming back, probably not once but twice. Once now and again after CV-19 is brought under control and that means following a vaccine is deployed.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 09:07 AM

4. Shart Garfunkel will NEVER acknowledge the idea that in order for

the economy to return to some state of relative health, the country has to get healthy first.

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 09:43 AM

5. Full report. Total claiming benefits in W.E. June 20: 32.9 M, an INCREASE of 1.4 M from previous

week's report. And way higher than the 17.8 million unemployed in the BLS jobs jobs jobs report that came out on 7/2/20 https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142528426

According to https://www.dol.gov/ui/data.pdf   (this is the full report I'm referring to in my title line)

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending June 20 was 32,922,335, an increase of 1,410,788 from the previous week. There were 1,612,122 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019.


Note how much higher that figure is than the 17.8 million unemployed in the BLS jobs report that came out on 7/2/20 (the survey week for that was June 7 - June 13).

Even if if the corrected unemployment rate is 12.1% instead of 11.1% (see Covid section in OP in https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142528426 ), then the corrected unemployed would be 17.8 * 12.1/11.1 = 19.4 Million.

Anyway, that there is such a large gap between the two numbers: 32.9 million vs. 19.4 million (a 13.5 million difference) has never been explained that I am aware of.

Wolf Richter thinks it is proof the BLS is cooking the books. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but I haven't seen any explanation of why this large difference, but I haven't dug into it yet (and probably won't for some time and probably wouldn't get anywhere with it even if I did). MORE: https://www.democraticunderground.com/10142528426#post16

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Response to progree (Reply #5)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 09:56 AM

7. The office that cranks out this report is in a separate building from the BLS.

The Employment and Training Administration is in the Frances Perkins Building, at 200 Constitution Ave., NW. The BLS is over on the flip side of North Capitol Street from Union Station. I feel certain they have two different sets of economists working away.

You'd think that they set up a meeting via WebTA or something to figure out why the two sets of numbers are so different, but what would I know?

From the very end of the report:

Weekly Claims Archives
Weekly Claims Data

U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at http://www.dol.gov. The Department's Reasonable Accommodation Resource Center converts Departmental information and documents into alternative formats, which include Braille and large print. For alternative format requests, please contact the Department at (202) 693-7828 (voice) or (800) 877-8339 (federal relay).

U.S. Department of Labor
Employment and Training Administration
Washington, D.C. 20210
Release Number: USDL 20-1364-NAT

Program Contacts:
Thomas Stengle: (202) 693-2991
Media Contact: (202) 693-4676

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Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 09:48 AM

6. What are the jobs that are part of the job growth?

Embalmers? Coroners? Hearse drivers?

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 10:02 AM

8. Disaster recovery workers?

'We Were Treated Worse Than Animals': Disaster Recovery Workers Confront COVID-19, NPR, 7/9/20

... "There were cracks in the safety protocols," Gonzalez, an asylum-seeker from Venezuela, said in Spanish through an interpreter. "We would start working without masks and then the supervisors would say, 'We're going to go look for masks,' when we were already working inside!"

"It smelled like something rotten, decomposed," she added. "Like something putrid, pungent. It was horrible."

Michigan had strict rules in place for essential workers during the pandemic, but Gonzalez and other workers interviewed by NPR said those rules weren't followed. The workers said they were put up in cramped hotel rooms, and weren't given enough protective equipment.

Many of the disaster recovery workers who came to Midland did get sick.

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Response to LiberalFighter (Reply #6)

Thu Jul 9, 2020, 10:03 AM

9. Lots of work not really affected that much is still growing.

Even companies that are hurting at the moment might be growing because they don't have the luxury of standing still.

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