Continuing Jobless Claims Disappoint As Part-Time Jobs Recover, Full-Time Lags

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by Tyler Durden
Thursday, Sep 10, 2020 - 08:35 AM

For some reason, the line in the sand for 'good' news on initial jobless claims has become 1 million. Twice in the last four weeks, there has been fewer than 1 million Americans filing for first time unemployment benefits (and before that there were 20 straight weeks well above 1 million per week).

Last week saw 884k Americans filed for first time claims - oddly the exact same as the revised higher number from the prior week...

Source: Bloomberg

But, non-seasonally-adjusted initial claims rose for the second week in a row...

Source: Bloomberg

Disappointingly, continuing claims rose week-over-week by 131k top 13.385 million...

Source: Bloomberg

California, Texas, and Puerto Rico saw major increases in jobless claims while Florida, Kentucky, and Michigan saw an improvement...

The jump in unemployment claims is coming mainly from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. PUA is mainly for self-employed and gig workers. It implies many still can't find steady work. There were 840k PUA filings last week, up from 748k the week before.

Source: Bloomberg

In fact, as Mike Shedlock notes, since the April bottom, part-time employment has regained a much greater share of employees who were laid off.

Employment Recovery

Part-Time Employment Recovery

Full-Time Employment Recovery 

Full-time employment is up more in raw numbers but lags on a percentage basis.

Four months in, the part-time employment recovery is 68.1% vs 47.9% for full-time employment. Overall, the recovery is only 54.8%. 

Part-time employment will recover first and then some. In a few months, it may exceed 100%.