People filing for unemployment is a useful metric but there is another related metric that one might look for as well. That is, once people file for unemployment, how many people are still on unemployment? That’s where continuing claims comes in:
Just like initial claims, what jumps out about this chart is the severity of the current downturn. It isn’t quite as broken as initial claims but it is still pretty bad.
There is a some good news in this chart though. As of this past week, the number of people continuing to file for unemployment has dropped. While it dropped from about 25 million to 21 million and that is still really high, 4 million people are getting back to work and that is a positive for the economy.
So, the reopening experiment is underway. It will be interesting to see just how quickly people can get back to work after the extremely quick shutdown. As the sharp spike upwards shows, the economy can be turned off. Turning it back on? Well, that’ll be trickier.