Don’t look back — the economy may be gaining on us. Two key economic indicators in the past few days suggest that the May jobs report may not have been as much of a fluke as some suspect. Consumer demand returned with a vengeance last month even with the limited reopening that took place in a handful of states, and not just for on-line purchases, either.
Not all of the economic news is good, however. Let’s start with the bad news, which is that initial jobless claims are leveling out — but at a level roughly twice as high as the pre-COVID-19 record:
In the week ending June 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,480,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 32,000 from 1,508,000 to 1,540,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,620,750, a decrease of 160,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 8,000 from 1,773,500 to 1,781,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 13.4 percent for the week ending June 13, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.2 from 14.1 to 13.9 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending June 13 was 19,522,000, a decrease of 767,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 255,000 from 20,544,000 to 20,289,000. The 4-week moving average was 20,421,250, a decrease of 329,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 63,750 from 20,814,750 to 20,751,000.