Labor Department: 6.6 Million Jobless Claims Last Week, Nearly 10 Million In Two Weeks

   DailyWire.com
The U.S. Department of Labor seal hangs on a podium outside the headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019. U.S. economic growth decelerated in the second quarter by more than initially reported, suggesting President Donald Trump's trade actions are weighing more heavily on the pace of expansion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Department of Labor released its weekly jobs numbers Thursday and announced “the highest level” of jobless claims in the history of the country. After 3.3 million people claimed unemployment two weeks ago, which was by far the largest number ever for the country, another 6.6 million filed for new unemployment benefits last week, bringing the total to nearly 10 million in just two weeks. The previous high was 695,000 in a week back in 1982.

“In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” the Labor Department reported Thursday. “This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.”

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 21 was 3,029,000, an increase of 1,245,000 from the previous week’s revised level,” the news release states. “This is the highest level for insured unemployment since July 6, 2013 when it was 3,079,000.”

“The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims,” reads the release’s “COVID-19 Impact” summary. “Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus. States continued to identify increases related to the services industries broadly, again led by accommodation and food services. However, state comments indicated a wider impact across industries. Many states continued to cite the health care and social assistance, and manufacturing industries, while an increasing number of states identified the retail and wholesale trade and construction industries.”

The New York Times cites Michelle Meyer, chief U.S. economist for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, who put the devastating numbers in perspective. “What usually takes months or quarters to happen in a recession is happening in a matter of weeks,” she said.

“A month ago, most forecasters still thought the United States could avoid a recession,” the Times reports. “Today, with the pandemic shuttering businesses and forcing vast layoffs, many economists are expecting a decline in gross domestic product that rivals the worst periods of the Great Depression.”

Below is the full text of the Labor Department’s news release (formatting adjusted):

COVID-19 Impact

The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims. Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus. States continued to identify increases related to the services industries broadly, again led by accommodation and food services. However, state comments indicated a wider impact across industries. Many states continued to cite the health care and social assistance, and manufacturing industries, while an increasing number of states identified the retail and wholesale trade and construction industries.

Seasonally Adjusted Data

In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous week’s level was revised up by 24,000 from 3,283,000 to 3,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,612,000, an increase of 1,607,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,000 from 998,250 to 1,004,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending March 21, an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 21 was 3,029,000, an increase of 1,245,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the highest level for insured unemployment since July 6, 2013 when it was 3,079,000. The previous week’s level was revised down by 19,000 from 1,803,000 to 1,784,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,053,500, an increase of 327,250 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the highest level for this average since January 14, 2017 when it was 2,062,000. The previous week’s average was revised down by 4,750 from 1,731,000 to 1,726,250.

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Unadjusted Data

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 5,823,917 in the week ending March 28, an increase of 2,903,757 (or 99.4 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 23,150 (or -0.8 percent) from the previous week. There were 183,775 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent during the week ending March 21, an increase of 0.9 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,383,382, an increase of 1,308,646 (or 63.1 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 82,062 (or -4.0 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.3 percent and the volume was 1,908,355.

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The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 14 was 2,105,219, an increase of 98,832 from the previous week. There were 2,040,256 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019.

No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending March 14.

Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,282 in the week ending March 21, an increase of 709 from the prior week. There were 897 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 461 from the preceding week.

There were 9,792 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending March 14, an increase of 148 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 5,591, an increase of 384 from the prior week.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 14 were in Alaska (2.8), Connecticut (2.7), New Jersey (2.6), California (2.4), Massachusetts (2.3), Minnesota (2.3), Rhode Island (2.3), Montana (2.2), Pennsylvania (2.2), Illinois (2.1), and West Virginia (2.1).

All states reported increases in initial claims for the week ending March 21. The largest increases were in Pennsylvania (+362,012), Ohio (+189,263), Massachusetts (+141,003), Texas (+139,250), and California (+128,727), while the smallest increases were in the Virgin Islands (+79), South Dakota (+1,571), West Virginia (+2,671), Vermont (+3,125), and Wyoming (+3,136).