1st Time Unemployment Claims Dip Ahead of Storm Impact

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 210,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended October 13 a DECREASE of 5.000 from the prior week’s upwardly revised report (215,000 from 214,000)
  • The four-week moving average of first-time claims ROSE 2,000 to 211,750;
  • Four-week moving average represented 0.136 percent of employment, UP from the previous week.
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,640,000 for the week ended October 6, DOWN 13,000 from the previous week’s downwardly REVISED 1,653,000 (from 1,660,000);
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 1,250 to 1,653,000.

Trends:

  • Four-week moving average of continued claims has now declined for ten straight weeks
  • Four-week moving average of initial claims has now increased for four straight weeks; first time since March 17-April 14 this year.
  • The year-to-date average of initial claims for unemployment insurance fell to 234,348 – 5.1 percent below the level of a year ago, the largest year-year drop of the year.
  • The 1,640,000 continued claims is the lowest level since August 4, 1973, when it was 1,633,000.
  • The 4-week moving average of 1,653,000 continued claims is the lowest level for this average since August 18, 1973, when it was 1,646,750.

Data Source: Department of Labor

Image result for unemployment insurance claims

Even in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, first-time claims for unemployment continued to decline, though the timing of the storm which hit Florida may have forestalled an upward bump.

Indeed, the unadjusted numbers showed a slight week-week dip in claims from the one-time (?) Sunshine State. [The only state to show any significant increase in claims was on the West Coast as first-time claims in California rose more than 3,000.

It could take another week or so for claims data to feel the impact pf the Florida storm, coming as it did at the end of a summer travel season when most businesses in the affected regions of the state had already pared staff.

The other states affected by Michael – Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina — also saw a week-week decline in initial claims.

The “rebound” impact of hiring for the rebuild is still weeks away but should more than offset jobs lost as a result of the storms.

You can hear Mark Lieberman every Friday at 6:20 am on the Morning Briefing on P.O.T.U.S. radio @sxmpotus, Sirius-XM 124.

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