Initial Claims Continue Grind Lower, Prior Revised Higher
With record numbers of people out of the labor force, and hundreds of thousands falling off each month, it is no surprise that the grind lower in initial claims continues - after all there is only so long one can request insurance benefits, now that extended claims are limited. In the week ended March 16, initial claims rose from an upward revised 334K (was 332K and merely the latest in an infinite series of prior upward revisions) to 336K, just below the expected 340K, even as NSA claims declined more to 299K. It would not be surprising that with the current of labor force exodus we get a 100K-handle unadjusted print soon as the pool of eligible workers who collect benefits shrinks to record levels. A tad defensive BLS was quick to note that unlike prior weeks, no states number were estimated. Continuing claims rose also, from an upward revised 3048K to 3053K, above the expected 3050K. Overall a snoozer of a report. The biggest surprise, however, was in the emergency extended benefits, which has continued it abnormally erratic weekly pattern, with this time 136K people falling off, following last week's weekly surge. A tiny 1.8 million Americans are now on extended claims, nearly 1.1 million below the 2.9 million last year. Curious who the people applying for SS disability are? Now you know.
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