Unemployment Claims Jump to Highest Level Since 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 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 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 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 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.
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
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.