Thursday, April 30, 2020

New jobless claims pass 30,000,000 for the past 5 weeks

 - by New Deal democrat

Initial jobless claims last week declined (!) to 3.839 million. That brings the total number of new jobless claims over the past 5 weeks since the coronavirus crisis started to 30.2 million: 

We know that many people have been unable to file due to State systems being overloaded or obtuse, so the total number is undoubtedly substantially higher.

Continuing claims, with a one week delay, totaled 17.776 million:

Just before the crisis hit, the civilian labor force was almost exactly 50% of the population. Since we don’t know that the former will be yet for April, the below graph divides continuing claims by population/2, and multiplies by 100 for the percent of the labor force that had continuing jobless claims as of last week’s figure:

As you can see, that is about 10% of the entire labor force, which was about 165 million in February, the last month before the crisis.

We may already be beginning to see substantial “second order” effects, as the closure of certain sectors of the economy slices the demand for goods or services in other sectors, which begin their own layoffs. Probably within the next two weeks, those second order effects will become the predominant driver of new claims.