"Only" 1.87 Million Americans Started To Claim Unemployment Benefits Last Week

Despite yesterday's massive beat in ADP employment data, in the last week 1.877 million more Americans filed for unemployment benefits for the first time (slightly higher than the 1.83mm expected).

Source: Bloomberg

That brings the eleven-week total to 42.644 million, dramatically more than at any period in American history. However, as the chart above shows, the second derivative has turned the corner (even though the 1.877 million rise this last week is still higher than any other week in history outside of the pandemic)

But after continuing claims declined last week amid hope for reopenings, this week saw continuing claims rise once again...

Source: Bloomberg

And as we noted previously, what is most disturbing is that in the last eleven weeks, almost twice as many Americans have filed for unemployment than jobs gained during the last decade since the end of the Great Recession... (22.13 million gained in a decade, 42.64 million lost in 11 weeks)

Worse still, the final numbers will likely be worsened due to the bailout itself: as a reminder, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, could contribute to new records being reached in coming weeks as it increases eligibility for jobless claims to self-employed and gig workers, extends the maximum number of weeks that one can receive benefits, and provides an additional $600 per week until July 31. A recent WSJ article noted that this has created incentives for some businesses to temporarily furlough their employees, knowing that they will be covered financially as the economy is shutdown. Meanwhile, those making below $50k will generally be made whole and possibly be better off on unemployment benefits.

Additionally, families receiving food stamps can typically get a maximum benefit of $768, but through the increase in emergency benefits, the average five-person household can get an additional $240 monthly for buying food.

But, hey, there's good news... stocks are near record highs and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he anticipates most of the economy will restart by the end of August.

Finally, it is notable, we have lost 380 jobs for every confirmed US death from COVID-19 (107,175).

Was it worth it?