Weekly Initial Jobless Claims Stay Above 1 Million

By at 28 August, 2020, 7:42 am

by Raymond J. Keating-

The news on the unemployment claims front offers more data points and trends again confirming that the U.S. economy continues to struggle.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial jobless claims remained above 1 million for the week ending August 22, coming in at 1,006,000 (seasonally adjusted). That was down slightly from 1,106,000 in the previous week. During the same week last year, initial claims registered only 215,000.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED

As for continuing claims, for the week ending August 15, that number came in at 14,535,000, which was down from 14,758,000 during the previous week. Again, a year earlier, continuing claims registered 1,699,000.

Finally, the Labor Department reported, “The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending August 8 was 27,017,232, a decrease of 1,042,323 from the previous week. There were 1,644,315 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019.”

That number of people equals about 17 percent of the U.S. labor force – far above the latest reported official unemployment rate.

Looking ahead, the questions swirling around unemployment not only is when existing businesses will stop layoffs and bring some workers back, but also the unknowns regarding startups and small business survival and growth, from which we get the bulk of job creation.

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



News and Media Releases