Continued Unemployment Claims Are Still Above 16 Million


Initial and continued claims dipped slightly this week but layoffs and continued layoffs are very elevated.

Initial Claims

Initial state Claims August 6 Data

The US Department of Labor reports seasonally-adjusted initial claims fell to 1,186,000 for the week ending August 1. 

That's the lowest total since March.

However, continued claims (those considered unemployed at the state level) are 16,107,000. 

Four Continued Claim Factors

  1. Continued claims lag initial claims by a week.
  2. People can find a job and drop off the unemployment rolls.
  3. People can expire their benefits and drop off the rolls.
  4. People can retire and drop off the rolls.

Note: My Initial Claims and Continued Claims charts are Seasonally-Adjusted. The following PUA and Totals are NOT Seasonally-Adjusted.

Primary PUA Claims

Primary PUA Claims in 2020 August 6 Report

Primary PUA covers those who are not eligible to make state claims. The report lags initial claims by 2 weeks and continued claims by 1 week.

All Continued Claims

All Continued Claims in 2020 August 6

All continued claims rose this period but that is due to the week delay between reports. Barring revisions, all continued claims will drop next month.

Key Numbers

  • Continuing State Claims: 16,107,000
  • Total Claims: 31,308,678

Key Ideas

  • Over 30 million people are on pandemic assistance.
  • At least 16,107,000 people are not working any hours.
  • An additional 15,201,678 people do not qualify for state unemployment insurance but have been collecting $600 weekly assistance checks.
  • An unknown number of those 15+ million are working part-time.

Pandemic Checks Stopped

On July 25 the Clock Ran Out on $600 in Weekly Unemployment Benefits as Republicans and Democrats bickered over the next round of stimulus.

On July 29, Trump announced "So Far Apart on Covid Deal That We Don't Really Care"

On August 5, I commented Trump Weighs Imposing His Stimulus Plan, Constitution be Damned

Specifically, Trump discussed suspension of the payroll tax, an extension of federal unemployment benefits with cuts the Republicans want, an eviction moratorium, and another round of individual stimulus checks.

"I will do it myself if I have to. I have a lot of powers with respect to executive orders," said Trump despite the fact he has no constitutional basis to do so.

There is merit in debating those ideas. However, there is no merit in breaking the constitution to do so.

Millions of Workers Suffering From Repeat Layoffs

Also note that Millions of Workers Suffering From Repeat Layoffs.

Clock Ticking

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking. This Saturday will be the second week of a missing $600 check.


Comments (11)
No. 1-6

That is part of the story and here is the other big news on the employment picture out today:

Basically one new job added for every 100 people (at least) unemployed, so at this rate it will only take about 8 years to get back where we were in February.


#BestRecessionEva continues

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"The US Department of Labor reports seasonally-adjusted initial claims fell to 1,186,000 for the week ending August 1.

That's the lowest total since March."


In contrast, during the GFC the PEAK week for initial claims (March 2009) was only 660K ... certainly explains current all time highs in stock market ...

Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"an eviction moratorium, and another round of individual stimulus checks."


This I don't understand. At all. Obviously, they are going to give those on UE a massive payday. Shouldn't that mean they'll have funds to pay rent / mortgage?
Give them $thousands / month ... and free shelter? Landlords / lenders get nothing? In the case of landlords, how are they to pay property tax / insurance /maintenance / mortgage??


Trump’s response to the pandemic is hard to understand. And it’s resulting in a lot of unemployment in a very sick economy.

It’s like a homeowner, whose house is on fire. He doesn’t call the fire department to come put out the flames. Instead, he calls his bank to borrow more money. Then he calls a contractor to come rebuild the parts of the house that have already burned down.

The contractor keeps rebuilding. All the while the house keeps burning. So the contractor keeps rebuilding. Finally the contractor says to the homeowner; ”Don’t you think you should put out that fire?”

The homeowner says. ”Oh, the fire will disappear eventually.”

The contractor says ”Well, it just seems like you are spending a lot of money, unnecessarily.”

The homeowner says, ”If you don’t want the job, I will just do it myself.”

The moral of the story: Trump is crazy.

If he had just focused on controlling the pandemic, like so many other countries, he wouldn’t have to run up the deficit and prop up the economy to this extent.

Today’s numbers so far:

Cases: Deaths

US 58,611:1,203

Italy 401:6

Canada 374:4

Singapore 301:0

Switzerland 181:1

The US economy can’t recover until the virus is under better control. Unemployment will remain high. Trumps strategy of wishing it away is insane.


Unemployment (real number)will never drop below 40-50% just like GDP (real number)will never be positive again (ever)at least not in my lifetime.Sure big govt will cook the books and put up fake bs data the way they have since 09,but it only makes the politicians feel good,while the economy continues it's slow but steady rot!