The total number of new reports of unemployment claims last week totaled 881,000, which is better than our estimate as the job market continues to make gradual progress during the coronavirus pandemic recovery.
Economists surveyed by Dow Jones were looking for a total of 950,000.
These figures reflect improvements in the labor market and changes in the Department of Labor’s methodology to address seasonal factors. It is possible that the total amount of unemployment claims was overstated during the epidemic period due to the unique circumstances associated with the coronavirus.
This figure has decreased compared to the previous week, but the total has not been corrected, making comparison difficult.
However, the department noted that the state’s claims ending August 29 had declined compared to the previous week’s 1.11 billion. According to Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, using the old methodology, the total would be 1.02 million.
Continuing claims declined sharply, dropping from 1.24 million to 1254 million. The insured unemployment rate, which is the default calculation for those who are paid for the entire workforce, fell 0.8 percentage points to 9.1%.
The Department of Labor has changed the methodology that uses seasonal adjustments to account for the normal turmoil in the job market that does not apply much under virus-related conditions.
The unadjusted total, which continued to fall below the adjusted figure during the pandemic, was 833,352 last week, up almost 8,000 from the previous week.
Unadjusted figures show that claims under the Infectious Disease Unemployment Assistance Program rose sharply to 759,482 last week, up 151,674. These programs generally provided benefits during the pandemic to people who were not eligible for unemployment insurance.
In short, the rate of layoffs is still very high, and it seems that the percentage of newly fired people looking for another job quickly is falling,” Shepherdson said.
At the state level, Florida saw the largest decline during the state at 12,312, while California saw the largest increase at 39,958.
The total number of workers receiving salaries was one week behind the current data, and 29.2 million in the week ending August 15, an increase of about 2.2 million from the previous week.
The number of claims is one day ahead of the government’s August non-farm payroll report. Economists expect 1.32 million more jobs to be created, and the unemployment rate will drop from 10.2% to 9.8%.