Unemployment insurance Claims Increase; Continued Claims Drop

By Mark Lieberman

Managing Director and Senior Economist

Highlights

  • There were 219,000 1st-time claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended February 22, 2020, an INCREASE of 8,000from the previous week’s upwardly revised 211,000 (from 210,000);
  • The four-week moving average of initial claims ROSE 500 to 209,750;
  • Four-week moving average represented 0.134 percent of employment, UP from 0.133 one week earlier;
  • The number of continued claims – individuals who had been collecting unemployment insurance — reported on a one-week lag, was 1,724,000 for the week ended February 15, DOWN 9,000 from the previous week’s UPWARDLY REVISED 1,733,000 (from 1,726,000)
  • The four-week moving average of continued claims ROSE 5,250 to 1,729,250

Trends:

  • The four-week moving average of continued for unemployment insurance rose for the first time in five weeks;
  • The four-week moving average of first-time claims for unemployment insurance rose for the first time this year (falling for seven straight weeks).

Data Source: Department of Labor https://oui.doleta.gov/press/2020/0227

Image result for unemployment insurance claims

First-time claims for unemployment insurance rose for the third straight week in the week ended February 22, the first time claims have increased for three straight weeks since September. California wildfires remain the culprit and are affecting continued claims.

[Continued claims refer to unemployed workers that qualify for benefits under unemployment insurance. In order to be included in continued claims, the person must have been covered by unemployment insurance and be currently receiving benefits.]

The number of continued claims fell 9,000 suggesting some of those previously laid off have either been rehired or found other jobs despite the fact job openings slid in the last Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey report.

From mid-January to mid-February, continuing claims fell 9,000 and the four -week moving average of continued claims fell 14,000, both data points supporting another increase in jobs when the Employment Situation report is released March 6.

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. 7

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