Has the recovery begun to run out of steam — and if so, how can it get refueled? Today’s report on initial weekly jobless claims didn’t offer much hope for sustained growth, plateauing at roughly the same level for the past several weeks. In fact, today’s number is within 10,000 of the new four-week average, while the level of new claims remains around four times as high as the pre-pandemic normal level.
The number of people getting continuing benefits still dropped, but nowhere near as dramatically as has been the case in the past two months (emphasis mine):
In the week ending September 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 870,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 6,000 from 860,000 to 866,000. The 4-week moving average was 878,250, a decrease of 35,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,500 from 912,000 to 913,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 8.6 percent for the week ending September 12, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.1 from 8.6 to 8.7 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending September 12 was 12,580,000, a decrease of 167,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 119,000 from 12,628,000 to 12,747,000. The 4-week moving average was 13,040,750, a decrease of 478,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 29,750 from 13,489,000 to 13,518,750.