August 24, 2020 — Jobless Claims Rise Last Week


After falling for three consecutive weeks, jobless claims rose again to over one million.  The week before was the first time in 21 weeks that initial claims fell below 1 million.  The rise in claims, week over week, was modest, but indicates the return to a stable economy will not be a smooth one.

Law makers are working on a new economic stimulus package for unemployed workers, but the parties disagree on the details.  Some states have been approved to disburse benefits, but it is not clear how long it will take for the money to get into people’s hands.

Continuing claims, those people receiving unemployment benefits for at least two straight weeks, fell by 636,000 to 14.8 million for the week ended August 8.  This data lags that of initial benefits by one week.

It is not unexpected reports of good news have slowed; until the transmission of the virus can be contained by some means, the return to normalcy will encounter obstacles.