Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims decreased to 684,000

The DOL reported:

In the week ending March 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 684,000, a decrease of 97,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 11,000 from 770,000 to 781,000. The 4-week moving average was 736,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,750 from 746,250 to 749,000.
emphasis added

This does not include the 241,745 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 284,254 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 736,000.

The previous week was revised up.

Regular state continued claims decreased to 3,870,000 (SA) from 4,134,000 (SA) the previous week.

Note: There are an additional 7,735,491 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that increased from 7,616,593 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.  And an additional 5,551,215 receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) up from 4,816,523.

Weekly claims were lower than the consensus forecast.