Another weekly increase in U.S. unemployment, with 1.4 million UI claims filed; unemployment rate at 11.6%

As Congress remains stalled on any extension of pandemic-related unemployment benefits, today brings another grim reminder from the Department of Labor that unemployment claims continue to mount.

In the week ending July 25, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,434,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 6,000 from 1,416,000 to 1,422,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,368,500, an increase of 6,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,750 from 1,360,250 to 1,362,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 11.6 percent for the week ending July 18, an increase of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 18 was 17,018,000, an increase of 867,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

As the graph shows, claims seem to be plateauing. 

Calculated Risk comments:

At the worst of the Great Recession, continued claims peaked at 6.635 million, but then steadily declined.

Continued claims increased to 17,018,000 (SA) from 16,151,000 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates. Note that continued claims are released with a one week lag, but this increase (during the BLS reference week for the employment report) suggests weakness in the labor market.

Awaiting the crisis abating.