The peak in initial claims might be in but the peak in unemployment is nowhere close. Continuing claims hit 6.788 million, setting a record for the 17th straight week.

Please consider the Department of Labor Weekly Claims Report.

Seasonally Adjusted Data

In the week ending May 23, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 623,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 636,000. The 4-week moving average was 626,750, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 629,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.1 percent for the week ending May 16, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 5.0 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 16 was 6,788,000, an increase of 110,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 6,678,000. The 4-week moving average was 6,608,250, an increase of 123,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 6,484,500.

Weekly Claims

click on chart for sharper image

The dip in initial claims from the March peak of roughly 650,000 is not accelerating very fast, if indeed at all. Those looking for a recovery in jobs soon are going to be disappointed.

Economists expect to see unemployment by 10% at the end of the year. I expect to see it at 9.8%+- by August and approaching 11% by the end of the year. Bear in mind the “stress-free tests” conducted by the Fed had an adverse scenario of 10.3% at the end of 2010.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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