Modest Increase in 1st-time Unemployment Insurance Claims

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist


  • There were 208,000 1st-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended September 14, 2019, an INCREASE of2,000from the previous week’s upwardly revised 206,000 (from 204,000);
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims FELL 750 to 212,250;
  • Four-week moving average represented 0.135 percent of employment, unchanged from the prior week;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,661,000 for the week ended September 7, DOWN 13,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,674,000 (from 1,670,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims FELL 3,750 to 1,677,500;


  • The week-week increase in initial claim was the third in the last four weeks;
  • The decline in the four-week moving average of initial claims was the third in the last four weeks;
  • The drop in the four-week moving average of continued claims was the fourth in the last five weeks.

Data Source: Department of Labor

Image result for unemployment claims

The southeast dodged a labor sector bullet from Hurricane Dorian according to unemployment claims data reported Thursday by the Labor Department.

Two weeks after the storm which was preceded with dire warnings for Florida and the Carolinas, claims for unemployment insurance were essentially at pre-storm levels.

And, the report – covering the same “reference” week used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for its monthly Employment Situation release, suggested the nation’s unemployment rate will not go up from the 3.7 percent level of the last three months. Comparison data for the reference week for continued claims won’t be available until next week. The Employment Situation report for September is scheduled for release October 4.

According to data not seasonally adjusted, first-time claims rose most sharply in California which accounted for 36 percent of the increase in new claims.

The weekly report reaffirmed initial reports that minimized the impact on businesses of Hurricane Dorian with relatively few jobs affected.

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.

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