Category Archives: US economy

25/6/20: America’s Scariest Charts Updated

Trump cheers today's unemployment figures... and...

Week of June 13th non-seasonally adjusted new unemployment claims were revised up to 1,463,363, from 1,433,027 published a week ago.

First estimate for the week of June 20th came in at 1,457,373.

Total initial unemployment claims filed so far during the COVID19 pandemic now sit at a massive, gargantuan 43,303,196, while estimated jobs losses (we only have official data for these through May, so using June unemployment claims to factor an estimate) are at 24,033,000. Putting this into perspective, combined losses of jobs during all recessions prior to the current one from 1945 through 2019 amount to 31,664,000.

A visual to map things out:

Charted differently:

Let's put this week's number into perspective: last week marked 14th worst week from January 1, 1967 through today. Here is tally of COVID19 initial claims ranks in history:

This is pretty epic, right? We are cheering 14th worst week in history. Note: all 14 worst weeks in history took place during this pandemic.

Of course, not all of the last week's initial unemployment claims are new claims. Initial claims can arise from people who have been kicked off prior unemployment rolls, who were denied unemployment filed earlier and so on. But the numbers above are dire. Disastrously dire. No matter how we spin the table.

18/6/20: America’s Scariest Charts Updated

Weekly data for initial unemployment claims for the week ending June 13, 2020 is out, so here are the updated 'America's Scariest Charts':

Index of employment, benchmarked to the pre-recession peak employment:

Estimated total non-farm payrolls:

And initial unemployment claims, half-year running sum:

Today's initial unemployment claims came in at 1,561,267 for the week ending June 6, 2020 (final estimate), slightly up on previous preliminary estimate. For the week ending June 13, 2020, non-seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims came in at a preliminary estimate of 1,433,027.

A summary table to put these numbers into historical comparative:

Some recent context on the latest official employment numbers from earlier this month is provided here:

11/6/20: America’s Scariest Charts Updated

The latest data on initial unemployment claims for the week ending June 6, 2020 is out today (release here: Initial unemployment claims are up another 1,537,120 in one week, though the rate of new additions is down slightly on the revised 1,620,010 new claims in the week ending May 30, 2020.

Here is the summary of the claims and jobs losses during the current recession as compared to all previous post-WW2 recessions:

Cumulative estimated jobs losses so far in this recession amount to 21,088,120, though this number is likely to change as we get more updates on actual employment figures. Cumulative number of new unemployment claims filed in this recession stands at 40,358,315. This number includes those who were denied benefits in prior filings, but subsequently re-filed their claims. Nonetheless, the number is an important indicator of just how woefully horrific the COVID19 pandemic has been on U.S. labour force.

Updating data for June for Non-Farm Payrolls, and incorporating official number for May 2020, reported last week:

Estimated payroll numbers are now down to the levels las seen in 3Q 2000, effectively implying that COVID19 has ashed more jobs than were created in almost the entire 21 years of this century.

Here is another way to visualize the above data:

Here is what this week's initial claims print means for the index of jobs market performance during the current recession, compared to the already widely-debunked optimistic jobs report of last week for May:

In effect, this week largely destroyed most of the 2.509 million jobs created myth paraded by President Trump last week. In reality, of course, we know that that jobs creation print was to a large extent the outrun of re-registrations and benefits expirations, plus the figment of the BLS data collection methods. For the best explanation of these factors, read: and my take on this is:

5/6/20: "Incredible" Jobs Report Meets Reality

Some updates on the jobs report this morning for the U.S.

Political reaction:

Reality bites:

New initial unemployment claims last week: 1,603,000. Putting this into perspective:

Which brings latest non-farm payrolls figures back to 1Q 2000 levels:

So, yeah, right, "tremendous" or put differently, we have 20 years worth of jobs destroyed. Non-farm payrolls increase of 2,509,000 is a good thing at the tail end of May, but the average weekly new unemployment claims increases from March 14 through May 30 currently stand at 3,527,650. This means the "tremendous" gains are just 71% of the weekly average losses.

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