If the contests between the stock market–which sees a rapid V-shaped recovery for the economy–and the Federal Reserve–which sees a slow recovery very stretching over two years, today’s report on New Claims for Unemployment comes down on slow recovery side.
Initial jobless claims for regular state programs totaled 1.51 million in the week ended June 13. That was down again from the 1.57 million in the previous period, but the 58,000 weekly drop was the smallest since claims began to retreat in early April. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a decline to 1.29 million initial claims.
Continuing claims — the total number of Americans claiming ongoing unemployment benefits in state program — decreased to 20.5 million in the week ended June 6. (Continuing claims is reported with a one-week lag from new claims.) But that was also above the drop to 19.9 million. continuing claims expected by economists.
This week’s initial claims report period coincides with the survey period for the month jobs report so this slightly disappointing number will be included in the June jobs report due in early July. If you’re an economist or investment strategist trying to guess if the June jobs report will produce another big positive surprise like the May report, I’d have to say the odds just moved a bit against the another surprise camp.
Outside the state unemployment figures, for the week ended June 13, states reported 760,526 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, the federal program that extends unemployment benefits to those not typically eligible–such as the self-employed–for state unemployment payments.