870,000 Americans filed for first-time unemployment claims last week, slightly worse than the prior week’s and expectations.
As a reminder, last week’s jobless claims are four times the pre-COVID-Lockdown average!
New York was the worst state along with Georgia as California begins to ‘normalize’ (see below). Illinois and Michigan saw the best improvements last week…
Continuing Jobless Claims also disappointed – printing 12.58mm (worse than the 12.275mm expectations)
Bear in mind that this past week was also payroll-survey week.
Of course, as we detailed previously, the numbers are heavily skewed by the fraud and backlogs in California. As The Epoch Times’ Sarah Le reports, California officials said it may take until Jan. 27, 2021, for the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) to work its way through a massive backlog of unemployment cases accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EDD implemented a “two week reset” starting Sept. 19 to address the issue, among others, and said the agency would stop accepting new unemployment claims during that time.
The reset takes place after months of delays in processing applications and allegations of rampant fraud. The move provoked outrage among some state politicians.
The state has about 600,000 unemployment applications more than 21 days old that have not yet been processed, according to the EDD. Another 1 million Californians have received payments from the state, but have since modified their claims and are awaiting a review to continue receiving benefits.
“We will be clearing backlog every single day between now and January,” said Sharon Hilliard, director of the EDD, at a Sept. 21 press conference.
So take the still-near-one-million levels with a modest spec of salt… for now.