Progress on Initial Jobless Claims Stalls

By at 10 September, 2020, 12:13 pm

by Raymond J. Keating-

The latest initial jobless claims report from the U.S. Department of Labor indicates that the movement in positive – or less bad – direction has stalled. During the week ending September 5, seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims remained unchanged at 884,000 compared to the previous week.

For good measure, continued jobless claims during the week ending August 29 registered 13,385,000, which actually was 93,000 higher than the previous week.

Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, FRED

And for the week ending August 22, the total number of people claiming benefits in all programs came in at 29,605,064. That also was up from the previous week by 380,379.

For comparison purposes, the initial jobless claims for September 5 of 884,000 compared to 208,000 at the same point last year; the 13,385,000 continuing claims compared to 1,683,000 at the same point in 2019; and the 29,605,064 total compared to 1,591,456 last year.

As entrepreneurs, businesses and investors work to get the U.S. economy out of this deep hole, progress forward is going to be uneven – especially given the continuing uncertainties regarding the pandemic, as well as significant political and policy unknowns looking ahead. These numbers point to whatever progress that had been occurring coming to a stall, or at least a dramatic slowing, in late August into early September.

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


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