Continued Claims for Unemployment Insurance Rise Again

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • 240,000 1st time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended July 29, 5,000 FEWER than the prior week;
  • Number of filings for week ended July 22 revised UP from 244,000 to 245,000\
  • Four-week moving average of first time claims DOWN from 2,500 prior week to 241,750;
  • Moving average for week ended July 29 was .0158 percent of total employment, DOWN from .0160 percent in the previous week;
  • 1,968,000 continued claims for unemployment insurance for week ended July 22, 4,000 MORE than the previous week;
  • Continued claims for week ended July 15 REVISED UP 1,000 to 1,965,000
  • Four-week moving average of continued claims INCREASED 750 to 1,96,750.

Image result for unemployment insurance

While new filings for unemployment insurance dropped last week, the number of individuals on unemployment rolls keeps climbing, the Labor Department  reported Thursday.

Indeed, continued claims for unemployment insurance – tracking the number of individuals who remain out-of-work – have been increasing steadily for two months, adding 49,250 over the last eight weeks. That increase signals its becoming more difficult for unemployed individuals to find new jobs. Following that progression, we could see people dropping out of the labor force and affecting the unemployment rate.

It could wind up a major problem in keeping the expansion on track although the nation’s economy is due for a correction as the length of the current expansion/recovery. The persistence of the continued claims data suggests a skills mismatch which, if taken to its logical conclusion would mean higher wages for those fortunate enough to land new jobs, but put a damper on new enterprises. It might also show up in two other categories as broken down by the monthly Employment Situation report: multiple job holders and self-employed. Both could see increases.

The number of multiple jobholders rose 50,000 in June and was up 432,000 year-year (adding to the view that some of the “new” jobs being created are not going to unemployed individuals which would contribute to a steady increase in continued claims for unemployment insurance. The increase in the number of multiple jobholders in the last 12 months is almost 20 percent of the increase in the number of new jobs).

The number of self-employed individuals rose 188,00 in June but is down 41,000 from June 2016, itself suggesting a slowdown in new business creation.

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. Tomorrow, Friday August 4, you can hear him at a special time: 8:45 am on the Morning Briefing and 12:05 pm on the Midday Briefing. You can follow him on Twitter at @foxeconomics.

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