Initial unemployment claims in the United States total 4.43 million; gold keeps its gains

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Editor’s note: update of previous story with more details of the report, comments from economist.
(Kitco News) – Another 4.43 million Americans filed their first unemployment claim in the United States in the week to Saturday, the Department of Labor announced on Thursday.
After the report, spot gold hung on to overnight gains, with the latest trade increasing from $ 12 to $ 1,726.10 an ounce.
The claims figure was in line with consensus expectations compiled by news outlets, which requested that the initial jobless claims be between 4 and 4.5 million. The previous week’s 5.25 million claims were revised to 5.24 million.
This is the fifth consecutive week that new demands have exceeded 3 million after the previous record of 695,000 in October 1982, according to figures from the Labor Department. Traders have been closely monitoring jobless claims to gauge how weak the US job report will be in April, as most of the layoffs came after the March report deadline released earlier this month . Millions of Americans have lost their jobs or been put on leave due to closures and social distancing across the country to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many businesses temporarily shutting down.

It was the sixth consecutive week that the Department of Labor released a statement attributing an increase in layoffs following the COVID-19 epidemic.
The increase has been particularly pronounced in the past five weeks, with a total of 26.45 million claims filed during this period.
“With this data covering the week of the Wage Survey [for the April employment report], we now know that there have been 26 million cumulative initial jobless claims since the March survey, representing 17% of the previously employed population, “said Andrew Grantham of CIBC Economics. “While the decline in wage employment and the increase in the unemployment rate are not as serious as that, the continuing demands are not growing as expected and thus suggesting that some of the demands have been short lived, we” We are clearly still seeing a dramatic and historic weakening of the economy since mid-March. “
He said the unemployment rate in April would likely increase less than the aggregate jobless claims suggest, perhaps as high as 12% to 13%. The unemployment rate will minimize the weaker job picture, as some people will leave the workforce, which will lead to a sharp drop in participation.
“Second, the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] previously informed that those employed but absent from work due to a coronavirus-related business closure should be classified as unemployed on temporary layoff, “said Grantham. “However, they also said when the March data were released that” it is evident that not all of these workers were so classified “and that the increase in the number of people absent from work for” other reasons Was worth about 1% of the employed population this month.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of new demand – normally seen as a more reliable measure of the labor market because it mitigates week-to-week volatility – rose 280,000 to 5.79 million .
Persistent jobless claims, which include the number of people already receiving benefits and reported one week late, increased by 4 million to 15.98 million seasonally adjusted during the week ending 11 April, the government said. This is the highest level of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment in the history of the data, the government said.

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