The DOL reported:
In the week ending April 17, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 547,000, a decrease of 39,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 10,000 from 576,000 to 586,000. The 4-week moving average was 651,000, a decrease of 27,750 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised down by 4,250 from 683,000 to 678,750.
This does not include the 133,319 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that was up from 131,721 the previous week.
The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since 1971.
The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims decreased to 651,000.
The previous week was revised up.
Regular state continued claims decreased to 3,674,000 (SA) from 3,708,000 (SA) the previous week.
Note: There are an additional 7,309,604 receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) that increased from 7,044,376 the previous week (there are questions about these numbers). This is a special program for business owners, self-employed, independent contractors or gig workers not receiving other unemployment insurance. And an additional 5,605,935 receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) up from 5,158,231.
Weekly claims were much lower than the consensus forecast.