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Keywords:Emergency unemployment benefits 

Working Paper
Reconciling Unemployment Claims with Job Losses in the First Months of the COVID-19 Crisis

In the spring of 2020, many observers relied heavily on weekly initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits (UI) to estimate contemporaneous reductions in US employment induced by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though UI claims provided a timely, high-frequency window into mounting layoffs, the cumulative volume of initial claims filed through the May reference week substantially exceeded realized reductions in payroll employment and likely contributed to the historically large discrepancy between consensus expectations of further April-to-May job losses and the strong job gains reflected in ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-055

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