This week jobless claims were higher for the third week in a row, and the 4-week average also rose slightly. Initial claims rose 11,000 to 362,000, and the 4-week average rose 4,250 to 340,000, from last week’s pandemic low:
Meanwhile, continuing claims declined 18,000 to 2,802,000, but remain above the pandemic low of 2,715,000 of two weeks ago:
It appears that the ending of all of the emergency pandemic assistance programs has had very little effect on continuing claims.
With infections from the Delta wave now down almost 1/3rd from their peak one month ago, we can safely say that the increase in new claims in the past few weeks is not due to COVID. It may just be noise. It’s also possible that the bottlenecks in the supply chain have led to some cutbacks downstream, as the ability to manufacture or sell goods is constrained by what is available. The next jobs report, which will be issued a week from tomorrow, should give us further insight as we can look to see where if anywhere there have been job losses.