And to that point, last week’s jobless claims were 652,000, bringing the total to the number in the title.
What do the figures tell us? Well, the year-on-year comparisons with and without seasonal factors are now basically identical. In both measures, we are losing jobs at a pace of 300,00 more than last year at this time. This is the 10th week in a row that the NSA (non seasonally-adjusted) numbers have been at this level. In my view, this can only mean that layoffs, while high, are not rising significantly. It also means that seasonal adjustments will be less of a factor until summer.
On the other hand, the unemployed are finding it hard to get a job. The SA, the NSA and year-comparison numbers are all getting worse. For example, there are 3 million more people unemployed than there were at this time last year. 6 months ago, that figure was only 800,000.
More as it develops…