Thursday, October 8, 2020

Lots of people still losing jobs, but staying unemployed for longer

The story largely remained the same this week on new jobless claims.
In the week ending October 3, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claimswas 840,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 12,000 from 837,000 to 849,000. The 4-week moving average was 857,000, a decrease of 13,250 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 3,000 from 867,250 to 870,250....

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 804,307 in the week ending October 3, an increase of 5,312 (or 0.7 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 14,319 (or 1.8 percent) from the previous week. There were 188,106 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019. In addition, for the week ending October 3, 53 states reported 464,437 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
So more than 1.25 million new applications came in last week, nearly 7 months after COVID-19 started spiking claims. Not good at all.

On a more positive note, regular continued claims did see nice declines of 750,000 in the week of September 19 and just over a million on September 26 (the last week measured). But that's a bit misleading, as PUA claims have stayed high, and were 11.4 million as of Sept 19 (the last week it was measured).
Worse, a decent amount of that drop in continuing claims seems to come from people that had their 26 week limit for regular claims run out, which is reflected in more people going on extended unemployment.
That's a rise of nearly 565,000 for the first 3 weeks of September, mirroring a trend in the jobs report for that month where the number of people in America out of work for more than 26 weeks went up by nearly 50%.

As October deepens and the weather grows colder, this trend of 25 million continuing to be unemployed is an increasing problem. Especially as enhanced unemployment claims have already ended in many parts of the country, and other than warehouses, I can't see much Holiday-season hiring happening in the COVID World.

Then combine that with the still-uncertain status of further stimulus, and it's not hard to see where any recovery we are having stops very soon, and the problems of unpaid bills and lowered demand starts a cascade into a second wave of major layoffs.


  1. You might think this grave recession would induce Pelosi into doing something now, but she is playing games as much as the lunatic.
    And this 25 Amendment talk and House bill is a PR stunt. Pelosi has time for this, but not for hammering a stimulus that families and the economy desperately need?
    As Krystal Ball says:
    "Now, [Pelosi is] probably correct politically. But it is an unconscionable, and frankly psychopathic position."

    Trump's position is both politically idiotic and psychopathic cruel. The bottom-line of this recession, which has ultimately dictated the lack of response, is that noone is this town actually gives a shit about the people who are most impacted."

    "This was the most unequal recession of all time, devastating the bottom half of the country, and leaving unscathed, or even benefiting the top echelons of society. If ever you wondered how much the people here actually care about you, you now know in absolutely uncertain terms — they don't."

    1. I think Pelosi has botched this by not using a shutdown threat to get stimulus passed, and instead kicking that off to December. But the House has passed 2 stimulus bills, including one last week. They've done their job, and it is with enhanced unemployment benefits.

      Where Pelosi is messing up is in negotiating with the White House instead of hammering on Moscow Mitch and the Senate, who seems to think that jamming a religious nut onto SCOTUS is more important than helping 25 million on unemployment, and in not helping the millions of small businesses in danger of going under this winter.

    2. Yes, negotiating. And ditching this absurd 25 Amendment talk. The loon is gone in three months. But most of the rest of the country is screwed now,and after. You know better than most a massive stimulus is needed now. See

  2. She can do the 25th amendment committee and work on stimulus. Working on the 25th amendment gets her a lot of press. Congress has done their job but I agree she should be having each elected democrat in the country tweeting and doing press releases on how Mitch is screwing the unemployed.

  3. The PUA number will likely stay the same until 12/31. Why would any self-employed individual receiving PUA benefits (me) until 12/31 decide to not receive that money? Business activity is negatively impacted by COVID so, keep the checks coming and hope for a new stimulus bill that sends out more money. This whole DC effort is a puzzling collection of political maneuvers. It will be interesting to see how much new debt the new administration will need to fund the next $3 trillion stimulus package or if they suddenly decide to stop spending money once they are responsible for trying to pay for it in their forward budgets.