Does the Uptick in Weekly Unemployment Claims Point to a Slowing Recovery?

By at 30 July, 2020, 2:20 pm

by Raymond J. Keating-

On the same day (today) that historically bad GDP numbers were released, the latest weekly unemployment claims report wasn’t exactly cheery. In fact, it was the opposite.

Initial weekly jobless claims for the week ending July 25 came in 1,434,000, which was up slightly from the previous week’s 1,416,000. This compared to initial weekly jobless claims of 216,000 during the same time last year.

Meanwhile, continuing claims for the week ending July 18 registered 17,018,00, which was up slightly from the previous week’s level of 16,151,000. A year earlier, the continuing claims level was 1,699,000.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED

These Department of Labor’s reported unemployment claims, as noted in the chart above, indicate that, at least in terms of jobs, the recovery that started in May and June has slowed during July. Given the spread and spikes in the coronavirus, that shouldn’t surprise any of us, unfortunately.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


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