New Unemployment Claims Increase Slightly

September 24, 2020
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Author: Jonathan Blair

The Department of Labor reported that 870,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed for the week ending September 19, a slight increase as the pace of the recovery moderates. The increase was small at just 4,000 from the prior week’s adjusted total of 866,000 initial claims. Continued claims for the week ending September 12 were 12.6 million, down 167,000 from the previous week’s total. LaborIQ® by ThinkWhy estimates the combined total of initial and continued claims is approximately 13.0 million for the week ending September 19.

Unemployment Claims for Week Ending September 19

The pace of the economic rebound is cooling from recent months, which had been aided by fiscal policy. These inputs stimulated activity and saved jobs, but much of that momentum has moderated. Six months into the pandemic and the lingering economic impact of COVID-19, LaborIQ estimates the unemployment rate to be 14.3% using Unemployment Insurance Claims.

Unemployment claims September 19 chart

Outlook

Initial unemployment insurance claims have been hovering at just below 900,000 per week, reflecting a slowly recovering economy. The road ahead remains uncertain due to the economic fallout caused by the pandemic and potential political shakeups, including the election and a possible second round of fiscal stimulus. Weekly unemployment claims indicate the pandemic continues to inhibit the economy’s rebound as millions remain out of work. LaborIQ expects initial jobless claims for September to hover around 3.8 million. Businesses are hopeful for a vaccine for COVID-19 and more fiscal stimulus soon in order to save jobs and put the economy on a faster track to recovery.

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