First-time jobless claims increased to 412,000 for the week ending June 12 from a revised 375,000 previously, the government said on Thursday. However, the top-line increase remains well below the 529,200 13-week moving average within the series, implying that conditions for further improvement remain intact.
That being said, the recent six consecutive weeks of declines in the top line number are likely more of an anomaly than reality. The move back to full employment is not going to be a one-way street and will be full of twists and turns as the time series moves back toward the 200,000-230,000 range that prevailed prior to the pandemic. This points to the need for sustained support for the unemployed, as the economy continues along the long road back to full employment, which we expect will take the remainder of this year and the better part of 2022.
Continuing claims increased to 3.51 million, while pandemic unemployment assistance jumped from to 118,025 from 71,303. For the week ending May 29, 14.8 million people were on some form of unemployment insurance. There are still 6.1 million individuals on pandemic unemployment assistance and 5.1 million receiving pandemic emergency unemployment compensation.