Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims at 787,000

The DOL reported:

In the week ending January 2, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 787,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 3,000 from 787,000 to 790,000. The 4-week moving average was 818,750, a decrease of 18,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 750 from 836,750 to 837,500.
emphasis added

This does not include the 161,460 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 310,462 the previous week.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 818,750.

The previous week was revised up.

The second graph shows seasonally adjust continued claims since 1967 (lags initial by one week).

At the worst of the Great Recession, continued claims peaked at 6.635 million, but then steadily declined.

Continued claims decreased to 5,072,000 (SA) from 5,198,000 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.

Note: There are an additional 8,383,387 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that decreased from 8,453,940 the previous week (there are questions about these numbers). This is a special program for business owners, self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance. 

An additional 4,516,900 are receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) that decreased from 4,810,334 the previous week.