Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increased to 778,000
In the week ending November 21, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 778,000, an increase of 30,000 from the previous week's revised level. The previous week's level was revised up by 6,000 from 742,000 to 748,000. The 4-week moving average was 748,500, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised average. The previous week's average was revised up by 1,500 from 742,000 to 743,500. This does not include the 311,675 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was down from 319,694 the previous week. The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased to 748,500.
The previous week was revised up. At the worst of the Great Recession, continued claims peaked at 6.635 million, but then steadily declined. Continued claims decreased to 6,037,690 (SA) from 6,452,002 (SA) last week and will likely stay at a high level until the crisis abates.
Note: There are an additional 9,147,753 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that increased from 8,681,647 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 4,509,284 are receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) that increased from 4,376,847 the previous week. These last two programs are set to expire on December 26th.
This was worse than expected.