Initial jobless claims rose very modestly last week from 349k to 353k, but remains very close to post-COVID-lockdown lows...
However, while continuing claims fell very modestly last week from 2.865mm to 3.862mm, it was worse than the 2.777m expected.
The number of Americans on Pandemic emergency aid has dropped notably as handouts have been suspended in various states, but over 8.6 million remain on that dole (with over 10 million job openings)...
The total number of Americans on some form of government jobless handout rose last week, back above 12 million...
Finally, as a reminder, continuing claims are plunging most positively in states that have ended supplemental jobless benefits.
Wolf Richter specifically noted this last week in The Extra $300/Week Unemployment Benefits Encouraged Many to Not Work: Details about the “Labor Shortage” Pile Up
In the 27 states that have ended the extra $300 a week in federal unemployment benefits, paid on top of the regular state unemployment insurance, people are returning to work at a much faster rate than in states where the extra $300 a week are still being paid: this was further confirmed today by the unemployment insurance (UI) data from the Labor Department.
Continued claims by the states that kept the extra $300 a week (the Keepers) dropped by only 11%. In other words, continued UI over just those weeks since the end of June dropped over twice as fast in states that had ended the extra benefits.
The four-week moving average irons out some of the week-to-week ups-and-downs that tend to occur in every state, which, when it happens in one of the big states, can skew the national weekly data. Being a four-week moving average, it lags the weekly data, but it shows the trends:
Hiring managers and business owners who need to fill open positions have known this in their gut for months: Paying people as much or more to not work than they made while working encourages them to not work, even though the pay is now higher than it was before.
As Mike Shedlock recently concluded, that's the latest advance in Progressive insanity.