Continued Unemployment Claims Rise to 21.5 Million


After turning lower last week, continued unemployment claims took a turn for the worse again this week.

Initial claims remain stubbornly high but did fall under the 2 million mark for the first time in 11 weeks. 

Continuing claims took a turn for the worse and rose to 21.487 million.

Initial Claims

Initial Unemployment Claims in 2020 - 2020-06-04

Eleven-Week Total

The eleven-week running total of initial claims is 42.647 million.

However, some of those workers have been called back as states have opened. Also some people submitted claims and were not really eligible.

Continuing claims, at 21.487 million, paint a better picture at this point as to what is happening.

BLS Reference Week

The reference week for the BLS Household Survey unemployment report is the week that contains the 12th of the month. It is that week's survey that determines the unemployment rate.

For the May Jobs Report coming out Friday, June 5, the reference week was May 10 through May 16.

Thus today's numbers will not impact the May jobs report out tomorrow.

Bogus Number

As noted on May 9, there was a 6.4 Million Discrepancy Between Employment and Unemployment.

The BLS is very aware they published a bogus unemployment number for April and issued this notice.

If the workers who were recorded as employed but absent from work due to “other reasons” (over and above the number absent for other reasons in a typical April) had been classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, the overall unemployment rate would have been almost 5 percentage points higher than reported (on a not seasonally adjusted basis). However, according to usual practice, the data from the household survey are accepted as recorded. To maintain data integrity, no ad hoc actions are taken to reclassify survey responses.

Data Integrity

To maintain "data integrity" the BLS reported a number known to be bogus.

There is still more to this BLS fiddling saga.

Click on the preceding link for details about Seasonal Adjustments and an unusual statement regarding their Birth-Death model adjustments.

Tomorrow's Reported Number

The BLS will report the May unemployment rate tomorrow.

Judging from continued claims, the unemployment rate would be 14.7% as I calculated a week ago.

That is not my prediction, it is just a "what if the unemployment rate matches the claims" statement.

The consensus estimate tomorrow is for an unemployment rate of 19.8%. 

If the number is that high, the BLS will have done a far better job eliciting responses than it did last month.  

My unemployment rate guess: 18.5%. We find out tomorrow.


Comments (19)
No. 1-10
Tony Bennett
Tony Bennett

"After turning lower last week, continued unemployment claims took a turn for the worse again this week."


but but but ... that sorta puts a dent in the bulltards V nirvana ...

Congress just passed a patch to PPP ... stretching the 8 weeks into 24 and lowering % toward payroll to 60%.

IF claims continue to be stubbornly high going forward ??


Looks like many millions of people also haven't received a single unemployment check yet. The market will crater this summer because earnings season is coming and companies will be forced to restate their projections for Q3 and Q4. Also unemployment isn't going to spike until September when furlough'ed employees (who are still getting paid) are going to finally be laid off. This is for companies that took PPP money.

IA Hawkeye in SoCal
IA Hawkeye in SoCal

If we can get the 30 year mortgage rate to 2%, that would go a long way in helping out.


Add PUA and you get 31 mln. Pua is for self-employed...


Less activity on this thread since the Trumpers cannot argue with facts like unemployment filings :)

Lance Manly
Lance Manly

At least the BLS is transparent that their number is bogus. How could you get a good number in this environment?


Dow 20 million coming. Ok stonks dropped today, but long term wise we are looking at adding a couple of zeroes to the Dow, S&P and Nasdaq.

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

CO: "The market will crater this summer..."

Jerome Powell: "Hold my apple-tini."

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple


"Hey, did you hear they're rounding up American citizens of Japanese descent and marching them to concentration camps?"

"Aw, c'mon, you're full of it. They're not marching them. They're putting them in trucks."

That's how literally fucking stupid this tear gas "debate" is. If tactics and semantics are what bother you, your swastika armband is on too tight.


Initial and continuing claims are going to remain somewhat elevated because larger companies have announced they will be downsizing over the next 2-5 months.

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