Unemployment Claims Jump to Highest Level Since September


Initial unemployment claims jumped by 137,000 to 853,000. That's the highest since a string of 800,000+ numbers in September.

Biggest Rise in Initial Claims Since March

The 137,000 jump was the largest since the 3.56 million surge on March 28.

Initial claims have risen three of the last four weeks. They bottomed at 711,000 on November 7.

Continued Unemployment Claims

Continued state unemployment Claims in 2020 Dec 10 Report

Continued claims rose to 5,757,000 from 5,527,000, an increase of 30,000. 

That is the first increase since August 29.

Continued claims, like Initial claims, are seasonally adjusted. 

Continued claims are understated. People fall off the roles as benefits expire. Millions have now expired benefits.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Claims (PEUC)

PEUC Claims in 2020 Dec 10 Report

PEUC claims lag continued claims by a week, They are not seasonally adjusted.

PEUC benefits kick in after people have exhausted regular state benefits. 

PEUC claims had risen every week since August, until now. They declined only because people expired their state benefits.

Despite the lags and the seasonal adjustment mix, you can get a better feel for the true state of affairs by adding PEU claims to continued claims. 

Due to expiring even adding the two together understates the problem by millions.

PUA Claims

Primary PUA Claims in 2020 Dec 10 Report

PUA claims cover part-time workers and self-employed. They are not seasonally adjusted.

This program is rife with fraud, double-counting, and reporting errors. 

All Continued Claims in 2020

All Continued Claims in 2020 Dec 10 Report

All continued claims is the total of everything above except initial claims.

Since it contains PUA claims this number is also rife with fraud, double-counting, and reporting errors.

Expiring Benefits

The PEUC and PUA programs expire completely on December 26.

Expect Congress to have a package by then, but the details are subject to negotiation.

Democrats and Republicans have been bickering over this since September. 

For discussion, please see Desire to Reach a Deal and Doing It are Two Different Things.

More Than 500,000 Restaurants are in Freefall

Note that More Than 500,000 Restaurants are in Freefall

And in California, Gov. Gavin Newsom passed a three-week stay-at-home order (including shutting down outdoor dining) for parts of the state.

We have not yet seen the impact of that measure nor similar measures in other states. 


Comments (15)
No. 1-8

It just has to get worse and worse.......no way around that.


Hi Mish - Wasn't this expected.


Since the Lockdowns/Quarantine rules are again being Enforced.


As I understand it sunlight destroys the virus in one to two minutes, yet people wear masks in the Target parking lot. The Great Outdoors is not the place to get the virus unless someone coughs all over your face. You really can't get the virus from touching stuff, like your steering wheel, but people wear masks in their cars. Sitting in a plane for two hours with non-smokers can give you the virus because you can't smell it like a cigarette in row 121. I spent 5 months home schooling a 6 year-old, but Colorado's Governor is not so stupid now to close schools again, even though he and his partner have Covid-19.


Next phase: Evictions. The unemployment benefits run out in two weeks.

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon



As long as the US administration continues to ignore the pandemic, the US economy and job creation will continue to suffer.

In the first 10 days of December the US had over 2 million new cases and over 25000 deaths from Covid.

Every single day now, the US has more cases and more deaths than Japan has had in 10 months. Every single day! The US response has been a disaster.


Compared to what country? The isolated island of Japan? What is your country doing by contrast?

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