Finance Globe

U.S. financial and economic topics from several finance writers.
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Initial Jobless Claims Still High

Continuing job losses remain severe, according to a report release by the Labor Department on Thursday. While the number of initial jobless claims dipped slightly last week, this is mostly because it is being compared with the prior week in which Chrysler layoffs bumped that week's number much higher.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 631,000 for the week ending May 16 - a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 643,000. The 4-week moving average, which smooths out weekly volatility, was 628,500, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week's revised average of 632,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5% for the week ending May 9, up by .1% from the previous week's unrevised rate of 4.9%. There are currently 5.071 million insured unemployed in the U.S. The overall unemployment rate, insured and not insured, stands at 8.9%.

Oregon had the highest unemployment rate for the week ending May 2 at 7.4%, followed by Michigan at 6.9%, Puerto Rico at 6.6%, Nevada at 6.4%, Pennsylvania at 6.3%, Wisconsin at 6.2%, Idaho at 6%, California at 5.6%, Alaska at 5.5%, New Jersey at 5.4%, and North Carolina at 5.4%.

Layoffs in the automobile industry continue to take its toll on the state of Michigan, which had the highest number of initial claims - 16,817 - for the week ending May 9. Virginia had 2,871 new claims and Kentucky had 2,768, also mostly due to continued auto manufacturing lay offs.

North Carolina had 3,783 new claims from layoffs in the industrial machinery, furniture, lumber/wood, primary metals, transportation equipment, construction, and trade industries. Pennsylvania had 2,444 new claims, mostly from layoffs in the construction and service industry.

California led the states in the highest decrease due to fewer layoff in the service industry, with 10,052 fewer new claims in the week ending May 9 than the week before. Wisconsin had 1,691 fewer claims, mostly from fewer layoffs in the construction, trade, and manufacturing industries. Kansas had a 1,415 decrease in claims, citing fewer layoffs in the service, real estate, transportation, warehousing, and information industries.


Sources:
U.S. Department of Labor
Bloomberg
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Monday, 21 October 2019

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