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September 30, 2021

Unexpectedly, Jobless Claims Rise Again, and Rise Above Expectations

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That word you keep using, unexpectedly, I do not think it means what you think it means.

About 362,000 people filed initial jobless claims in the week ending September 25, up 11,000 from the previous week, according to the weekly data released Thursday.

Economists were only expecting about 330,000 new claims, according to Bloomberg; the reading hit a pandemic low of 312,000 in the week ending September 4 but has ticked up every week since.

Despite the unexpected increase in new claims, continuing claims fell drastically from 11.3 million in the week ending September 4 to about 5 million in the week ending September 11, reflecting the expiration of enhanced federal unemployment benefits for an estimated 7.5 million Americans earlier this month.

According to the Labor Department, there are still 8.4 million unemployed people in the United States, markedly higher than the 4 million in February 2020.

CRUCIAL QUOTE

"The latest increase confounded hopes for improvement," Bankrate senior market analyst Mark Hamrick said in a Thursday note, pointing out the increase seemed largely spurred by rising claims in California and Michigan.

Here's the spin from Reuters: If we pretend California isn't part of the United States, the jobless claims in the United States don't look so bad!


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posted by Ace at 12:25 PM

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