In the week ending May 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 2,123,000, a decrease of 323,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 8,000 from 2,438,000 to 2,446,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,608,000, a decrease of 436,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,000 from 3,042,000 to 3,044,000.
The previous week was revised up.
This does not include the 1,192,616 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
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 2,608,000.
This was close to the consensus forecast of 2.1 million.
The second graph shows seasonally adjust continued claims since 1967 (lags initial by one week while increasing sharply).
At the worst of the Great Recession, continued claims peaked at 6.635 million, but then steadily declined.
Continued claims have already decreased to 21,052,000 (SA) from the record high of 24,912,000 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.
Note: There are an additional 7,793,066 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). This is a special program for business owners, self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance.