First-time Unemployment insurance Claims Fall; Total claims Increase

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 860,000 1st-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended September 12, 2020, a DECREASE of33,000from the previous week’s upwardly revised 893,000 (from 884,000);
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims FELL 61,000 to 912,000;
  • Four-week moving average represented 0.59 percent of total employment, DOWN from 0.63 percent one week earlier;
  • The total number claims for all unemployment programs 29,768,326 for the week ended August 29, up from 29,669,870 one week earlier;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 12, 628,000 for the week ended September 5, DOWN 916,000 from the previous w’s UPWARDLY REVISED 13,544,000 (from 13,385,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 532,750 to 13,489,000

Trend

  • First-time claims FELL for the 20TH time in the last 24 weeks since peaking at 6,687,000 at the end of March;
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims for unemployment insurance fell for the 14th time in the last 17 weeks.
  • The number of persons collecting under all employment insurance programs continues to far exceed the official unemployment tally of 13,550,000 as reported for August by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Data Source: Department of Labor

Everyday ethics: Should I be taking unemployment insurance?

First-time claims for unemployment insurance fell again for the week ended September 12, but the total of Americans collecting unemployment benefits rose for the period ended three weeks earlier, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The broader figure includes individuals who qualify for unemployment insurance under special programs such as federal employees and veterans along with those who receive unemployment insurance while caring for an individual with Covid.

The positive note from this weekly report is the decline in new first-time claims but that was likely a function of the Labor Day holiday which closed government offices on September 7.

You can follow Mark Lieberman on Twitter at foxeconomics.

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