Good news or bad news? As it has been for the last four months, the weekly jobless claims report has some of both. On the bad side, the number of claims remains stubbornly in the seven-figure range, albeit somewhat better than expectations at 1.314 million initial claims in the week ending July 4. That’s down nearly 100K from the previous week, but that still puts the level at nearly twice the level of the pre-COVID record high:
In the week ending July 4, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,314,000, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 14,000 from 1,427,000 to 1,413,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,437,250, a decrease of 63,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 3,500 from 1,503,750 to 1,500,250.
The good news comes in the number of continuing claims. That too remains at pre-pandemic record highs, but it’s moving in the right direction in a big way. Nearly 700,000 people came off of unemployment in the past week: