First-time Jobless Claims Fall Again

October 29, 2020
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Author: Jonathan Blair

The Department of Labor reported that 751,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed for the week ending October 24. The figure is a decrease of 40,000 from the previous week’s adjusted total of 791,000 initial claims. Additionally, continued claims dropped again for the week ending October 17, this time by 709,000, to 7.8 million.

LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy estimates the combined total of initial and continued claims for the week ending October 24 is approximately 7.9 million, the lowest since March. LaborIQ also estimates the unemployment rate to be close to 12.0% due to the pandemic’s prolonged economic impact.

Unemployment Claims for Week Ending October 24

Negotiations in Washington D.C. on the next round of stimulus stalled, as agreement on new terms could not be reached. COVID-19 cases have surged in many states, creating even more questions about the economic recovery, with ongoing public health concerns tied to business activity. Based on data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday, 120 out of 396 metros saw their unemployment rates increase in September.

Unemployment claims chart for week ending October 24, 2020

Outlook

The drop in the weekly claim totals is a positive sign that the recovery continues, albeit slower and with increasing uncertainty. LaborIQ expects initial jobless claims for November to be around 3.3 million, an average of 775,000 per week. COVID-19 will continue to inhibit business activity until the virus is under control. Another round of stimulus remains a critical need for many, and the progress of vaccine development will remain an important focus of both public health officials and economists for the foreseeable future. Even after a vaccine is developed, its distribution and efficacy will take time. As a result, the road to full recovery remains challenging for businesses and families alike.

LaborIQ by ThinkWhy continuously monitors and forecasts labor data at all levels, measuring impact to cities, industries, occupations and business across the U.S.