Today marked yet another week of glacial progress in initial jobless claims, at levels worse than the worst weekly levels of the Great Recession.
On a non-seasonally adjusted basis, new jobless claims rose by 5,312 to 804,307. After seasonal adjustment (which is far less important than usual at this time), claims fell by 9,000 to 840,000, another new pandemic low. The 4-week moving average also declined by 13,250 to a new pandemic low of 857,000:
Here is a close-up of the last two months highlighting the glacial progress in initial claims during the past 7 weeks:
Continuing claims declined on a non-adjusted basis declined by -1,010,280 to 10,612,021. With seasonal adjustment they declined by 1,003,000 to 10,976,000. Both of these numbers are also new pandemic lows:
Continuing claims are now about 60% below their worst level from the beginning of May, but remain about 4 million higher than their worst levels during the Great Recession.
There has been only a very slow downward movement in new jobless claims over the past nine weeks. The pandemic shock recession is gradually turning into something much more chronic, with more long-term damage that will be more difficult to remedy.