Looks like Steve Mnuchin didn’t entirely buy the idea that the country’s economic woes over the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown are over, either. Nor should he, as today’s weekly initial jobless claims report attests. Despite the surprising return to work shown in May, new jobless claims continued at pre-COVID-19 record levels, although still slowing:
In the week ending June 6, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,542,000, a decrease of 355,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 20,000 from 1,877,000 to 1,897,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,002,000, a decrease of 286,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 4,250 from 2,284,000 to 2,288,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 14.4 percent for the week ending May 30, a decrease of 0.2 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.2 from 14.8 to 14.6 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 30 was 20,929,000, a decrease of 339,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 219,000 from 21,487,000 to 21,268,000. The 4-week moving average was 21,987,500, a decrease of 404,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 54,000 from 22,446,250 to 22,392,250.
At least this week showed an overall decrease in continuing claims. It still shows more than 20 million Americans receiving more than one week of unemployment benefits, with a four-week average of almost 22 million. The country may be reopening, but it’s still not showing in the jobs market, or at least not in this phase of it.