EconUpdate by P. Duffy
Initial unemployment claims drop to lowest level since mid-March 2020
In the week ending August 14, initial unemployment claims were 348,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020 when it was 256,000. Continued claims during the week ending August 7 were 2,820,000, a decrease of 79,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending July 31 was 11,743,515, a decrease of 311,787 from the previous week.
Housing starts fall 7.0 percent in July, but up 2.5 percent year-on-year
Privately‐owned housing starts in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,534,000. This is 7.0 percent below the revised June estimate of 1,650,000, but is 2.5 percent above the July 2020 rate of 1,497,000. Single‐family housing starts in July were at a rate of 1,111,000; this is 4.5 percent below the revised June figure of 1,163,000.
Building permits up 2.6 percent in July and 6.0 percent year-on-year
Privately‐owned housing units authorized by building permits in July were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,635,000. This is 2.6 percent above the revised June rate of 1,594,000 and is 6.0 percent above the July 2020 rate of 1,542,000. Single‐family authorizations in July were at a rate of 1,048,000; this is 1.7 percent below the revised June figure of 1,066,000.