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Initial Claims

There has very slight slight improvement in initial claims for six weeks.

For the weeks ending August 29, September 5, September 12, September 17, September 26, and October 3 there were 884,000, 893,000, 866,000, 873,000, 849,000, and 840,000 seasonally-adjusted claims respectively according to the Department of Labor.

Given margins of error on seasonally adjusted data there has been essentially no progress for six weeks.

Continued Claims

Continued State Unemployment Claims in 2020 October 7 Report

Continued claims lag initial claims by a week.

For the weeks ending August 29, September 5, September 17, and September 26, there were 13,554,000, 12,747,000, 12,747,000, 11,979,000, and 10,976,000 seasonally-adjusted claims respectively.

These numbers are continually revised.

The downward slope (pace of progress) has not changed since May. 

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It's continued state claims that determine the official unemployment rate, not that anyone of intelligence believes the BLS number.

All Continued Claims

All Continued Claims in 2020 Oct 7 Report

All Continued Claims are not seasonally adjusted. They also lag initial claims by two weeks and continued claims by a week.

The total for the latest week is 25.5million. This should realistically feed the U-6 unemployment rate but it doesn't.

California Fraud

Bloomberg Econoday has this interesting blurb regarding California.

California is now offline when it comes to claims data as it scrambles to limit unemployment fraud. With the weekly estimate for the US's largest state now frozen at a prior level of more than 260,000, forecasters see total initial claims easing slightly but not substantially to 819,000 in the October 3 week. This would compare with 837,000 in the prior week that saw only a small decline.

California unemployment fraud, who couldda possibly thunk that? 

Does fraud stop in California or is it pervasive?