1st-time Unemployment Insurance Edge Up

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 217,000 1st-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended Aug 31, 2019, an INCREASE of1,000from the previous week’s upwardly revised 216,000 (from 215,000);
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims ROSE 1,500 to 216,250;
  • Four -week moving average represented 0.137 percent of employment, UNCHANGED from the previous week;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,662,000 for the week ended August 24, DOWN 39,000 from the previous week’s upwardly REVISED 1,701,000 (from 1,698,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 6,250 to 1,691,750;

Trends:

  • The number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance increased for the second straight week and third time in the last four weeks;
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims rose for the fourth time in the last five weeks;
  • On a percentage basis, the increase in the four-week moving average of first-time claims (1.3 percent) was the largest since mid-May.

Data Source: Department of Labor

Image result for unemployment

Before any impact from Hurricane Dorian, the number of first-time claims for unemployment insurance inched up in the last week of August. Larger, temporary, increases are likely in the wake of the storm, if history is any guide.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey two years ago, initial unemployment insurance claims jumped 61,000, 25.5 percent but then fell for five of the next six weeks, reverting to the pre-storm range.

In the second week after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, unemployment ranks swelled 81,000 but then fell back over the ensuing four weeks.

Thursday’s Labor Department report will have no impact on the Employment Situation data to be released tomorrow with the unemployment rate and job creation statistics for August. The monthly ADP survey which tracks private sector jobs said the number of jobs jumped 195,000 in August, up from 156,000 in July. In July the Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy added 164,000 jobs including 16,000 new government jobs.

Comparing the mid-month tallies of first -time and continued unemployment claims suggests the potential for a further reduction in the 3.7 percent unemployment rate. First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell 18,000 from mid-July to mid-August and the four-week moving average of initial claims dropped 3,750. In both cases, the declines exceeded the mid-June to mid-July declines.

The number of continued claims – a rough surrogate for hiring – grew 24,000 and the four-week moving average of continued claims was virtually unchanged, up 500, from mid-July to mid-August pointing to a less than spectacular change in the number of new jobs for August, ADP notwithstanding.

You can hear Mark Lieberman tomorrow, Friday September 6, at 8:45 a.m. EDT on POTUS’ Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124. You can also hear him other Fridays at 6:20 am EDT on POTUS’ Morning Briefing, Sirius-XM 124. You can follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

0 Responses to “1st-time Unemployment Insurance Edge Up”


  • No Comments

Leave a Reply