First-time jobless claims increased by 51,000 to 419,000 for the week ending July 3, according to government data released Thursday. The increase underscores the week-to-week noise in the data and is not indicative of any signal of an acceleration in the pace of firings.
With the labor market so tight, we suspect that the increase is just seasonal distortion around the traditional July 4 holiday. We would strongly recommend discounting the top-line increase as a temporary deviation from the mean and anticipate a reassertion of the downward trend in the coming weeks.
People receiving federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance increased by 110,257. There are more than 12.5 million individuals receiving some form of unemployment insurance. We anticipate that this number will decline noticeably later this year as fiscal aid to the unemployed fades.
For more information on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.