Unemployment insurance, unless extended, runs for six months. Unemployment started spiking up pretty hard in January this year; that was the only month even the BLS's crazy birth/death model showed lost jobs. That's six months ago. My question: is the weekly continuing-claim purely a matter of people running out of unemployment insurance? If so, that's not better. That's worse.
Now, unemployment insurance often gets extended in downturns. Has there been a Federal extension that I don't remember? I do know that some states have provided extensions (e.g., Washington State) but I'm also aware that few states are able to do that right now because of their drained unemployment insurance funds. (Unlike most states, we have a substantial surplus.)
That's the question in my mind today. The next U-5 and U-6 reports will be extremely interesting.
Also, I started a news post last night but didn't get far enough along to post it. And now I have a show! Maybe tonight.
eta: interactiveleaf has it: there has been an extension, but they changed the rules to make claim-filing more difficult. Rules went into effect this week - and lo, claims dropped. It's like magic.
eta2: No, wait, it's more complicated than that. People on extended unemployment don't count in that figure. So it is people wrapping off six months of eligibility - but only "extended" eligibility, not off entirely. In other words: the number is bullshit. (Source NPR.)