US Jobless Claims: It’s getting better, or at least not-as-bad – Wells Fargo

Just over 2.4 million people filed claims for unemployment last week, something that is terrible according to analysts at Wells Fargo. They see some hope as the number of people filing claims fell for the seventh straight week.

Key Quotes: 

“At any other time in the past 50 years, news that 2.4 million (M) Americans filed claims for unemployment insurance in a single week would be a horrifying development. But in March and April we saw weekly figures that at times crested above six million, so today’s news that jobless claims fell to 2.438M after 2.687M last week is good news (note that this was revised down from 2.981M previously).”

“Although we saw improvement with first time claims, unfortunately the data suggest the number of people still filing continuing claims for unemployment was still on the rise in the second week of May (the continuing claims numbers lag by an additional week).”

“There is no hard data to cite to know for sure how many people are having difficulty getting benefits, but in a rare example of some good news with respect to the employment situation: 78% of people recently joining the ranks of the unemployed expected it would only be temporary according to the April jobs report.”

“As of this week, every state in the country has begun at least early phases of reopening. That means over the course of the summer we will get a sense of whether or not that 78% share of displaced do in fact get themselves back on the payroll.”

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