- by New Deal democrat
New jobless claims are likely to the most important weekly economic data for the next 3 to 6 months. They are going to tell us whether, as the number of those vaccinated continues to increase, there will be a veritable surge in renewed commercial and social activities and attendant consumer spending, leading in turn to a strong rebound in monthly employment gains.
Here is the close up since the end of July (recall that these numbers were in the range of 5 to 7 million at their worst in early April):
Because of the huge weekly swings caused by the scale of the pandemic, a few months ago I began posting the YoY% change in the numbers as well, since until now they have been much less affected by scale, so there is less noise in the numbers, and the trend can be seen more clearly:
This is probably the last time I will use this graph, as YoY comparisons will now be distorted by the lockdowns of last March and April. Indeed, this week, all 3 metrics were down YoY.
Continuing claims, which historically lag initial claims typically by a few weeks to several months, also made new pandemic lows yet again this week. Seasonally adjusted continuing claims declined by 264,000 to 3,874,000, while the unadjusted number declined by 278,573 to 4,217,259: