1st-time Unemployment Insurance Claims Increase; Continued Claims Fall

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 213,000 1st-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended September 21, 2019, an INCREASE of3,000from the previous week’s upwardly revised 210,000 (from 208,000);
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims FELL 750 to 212,000;
  • Four-week moving average represented 0.135 percent of employment, DOWN from 0.136 percent one week earlier;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,650,000 for the week ended September 14, DOWN 15,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,665,000 (from 1,661,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 12,750 to 1,665,750;

Trends:

  • The week-week increase in initial claims was the fourth in the last five weeks;
  • The decline in the four-week moving average of initial claims was the third in a row;
  • The last increase in continued claims was for the week ended August 17
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims has declined for four straight weeks for the first time since Spring.

Data Source: Department of Labor

Image result for auto strike today

The first nationwide strike by automobile workers since 2007 sent initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended September 21 up 3,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The strike, which began September 15, is the longest in 50 years.

Unemployment insurance claims (not seasonally adjusted) more than doubled in Michigan, from 3,573 for the week ended September 14 to 7,724 for the week ended September 21. The increase doesn’t necessarily mean striker are collecting benefits but rather support workers in perhaps other industries. Each autoworker accounts for five indirect jobs according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

Because of when the stroke began, it has the potential to affect the Employment Situation Report scheduled for release October 4. That report will be based on data collected for the “reference” week, the week of the month including the 12th calendar day.

That doesn’t even include the impact of the strike on auto sales a key component of retail activity.

Because of the impact of the strike, it may be difficult to assess just what the steady increase in initial unemployment insurance claims means for the overall economy. The total number of claims remains historically low suggesting no immediate cause to reach for a panic button.

More significant perhaps than the increase in first-time claims is the continuing drop in continued claims, often a surrogate for hiring. A decline implies individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance have been successful in finding jobs.

You can hear Mark Lieberman Friday mornings at 6:20 am on POTUS’ Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124. You can follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

0 Responses to “1st-time Unemployment Insurance Claims Increase; Continued Claims Fall”


  • No Comments

Leave a Reply