Weekly Unemployment Claims Fall Again

June 18, 2020
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Author: Jonathan Blair

Initial weekly UI claims drop again, indicating fewer layoffs and more vacancies are being filled. As states reopen and demand increases, workers are returning to payrolls, reducing the number of continued claims. The combination of decreasing jobless claims and recent employment gains suggest a recovery is underway. Seasonally adjusted initial claims for the week ending June 6 were revised up by 24,000 to 1.566 million.

Unemployment Claims for the week ending June 13

An encouraging sign this week was a 17.7% increase in retail sales since May. Consumer sentiment also increased in June, slightly above expectations. But other underperforming indicators are causing uncertainty about the trajectory of the recovery. States are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases after reopening, which has many experts concerned. The supplemental unemployment benefit is available through July 31, and Congress is weighing additional measures to sustain the economy.

Continued Claims Week Ending June 13

Outlook

With all 50 states implementing post-COVID-19 reopening plans, initial jobless claims for June should hover around 6.0 million. Claims are expected to continue to decline as employers, particularly small businesses, reopen and fill vacancies. A deceleration in initial claims is forecasted to continue through July. The more important number to watch will be continued claims and Pandemic Unemployment Claims, which increased 66,000 from last week.

ThinkWhy continuously monitors and forecasts labor data at all levels, measuring impact to MSAs and businesses across the country. Stay current with us. We are here to support organizations and provide insights during the economic downturn as well as the recovery phase.