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Unemployment benefit applications still very high, but down nationally from last week, up in Illinois

Thursday, Oct 1, 2020

* NY Times

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 787,000 Americans filed for state unemployment benefits for the first time last week. It was a decline from the previous week’s total of 827,000, but the figures — unadjusted for seasonal variations — are roughly four times the weekly tally of claims from before the pandemic.

“Clearly there has been a moderation in the rate of improvement from the early stages,” said Michelle Meyer, head of U.S. economics at Bank of America. “As we get further away from the initial shock, we have less of a natural catch-up, and we face more residual damage.”

With seasonal adjustments, last week’s figure was 837,000.

* CBS 2

The U.S. Department of Labor estimates 27,903 new unemployment claims were filed during the week of Sept. 21 in Illinois, according to the DOL’s weekly claims report released Thursday.

While this number is based on advanced estimates, the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) will be releasing a final number later Thursday. […]

There were 25,976 new unemployment claims were filed across the state last week, the week of Sept. 14.

* Press release…

The University of Illinois Flash Index in September increased to 95.1 from its 94.6 level in August. This is a continuation of the slow recovery of the index after the precipitous declines from February to May of this year.

“The index portrays two quite different stories depending on the time frame. Over the last four months, the Illinois economy is rebounding from the worst of the COVID-19 crisis of the spring, but it clearly has far to go to recover its pre-crisis strength,” said University of Illinois economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the monthly index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. This is the seventh consecutive month that the index has fallen short of the 100-dividing line between growth and decline. See the Flash Index Archive.

The Illinois unemployment rate declined again to 11.0% from 11.5% the previous month, but it is still 2.6 percentage points above the national level, suggesting a slower recovery here.

Illinois tax receipts that go into the calculation of the index were surprisingly strong in September. After adjusting for inflation, sales and corporate tax receipts were up from the same month last year, while individual income tax receipts were down.

The Flash Index is normally a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings, consumer spending and personal income as estimated from receipts for corporate income, individual income, and retail sales taxes.

These are adjusted for inflation before growth rates are calculated. The growth rate for each component is then calculated for the 12-month period using data through September 30, 2020.

For the last six months, several ad hoc adjustments were made to deal with the timing of the tax receipts resulting from state and Federal changes in payment dates that were made to lessen the impact of the closures.

* Related…

* Fraud Schemes Exploit Weak Spots in Unemployment Claims System

- Posted by Rich Miller        

1 Comment »
  1. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Oct 1, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    The thing that is so disappointing is that the Democrats and Republicans in DC still, seemingly, aren’t willing to help the American people because the politics of our crisis is seemingly more important than the necessary aid to Americans

    The eight week closures that was ignored to stave off this type of long term tragedy in American households.


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