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Data: Department of Labor via FRED; Chart: Axios Visuals

Lots of media companies reported that initial jobless claims rose for the first time in 15 weeks last week, but that is only true when looking at the seasonally adjusted data.

Why it matters: Seasonal adjustment has significantly altered the number of claims, with reports showing more than 300,000 additional initial jobless claims during weeks in May.

  • The difference between seasonally adjusted and unadjusted continuing claims was around 2 million for every week in May.

By the numbers: Unadjusted numbers showed an increase in initial claims for the week of July 11, with claims rising to 1.5 million from 1.4 million the previous week.

  • The number of claims, not adjusted, fell last week to 1.4 million.

Of note: The total unadjusted number of people receiving unemployment benefits through all state and federal programs was 31.8 million for the week ending July 4. That represents about 1 in 5 people in the workforce.

Go deeper

Oct 20, 2020 - World

Argentina becomes 5th country to report 1 million coronavirus cases

High school students at an improvised classroom in the yard of their school in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Oct. 13. Photo: Juan Mabromata/AFP via Getty Images

Argentina's health ministry reported 12,982 new coronavirus cases Monday night, taking the country's total to 1,002,662.

Why it matters: Argentina is the fifth country to surpass 1 million COVID-19 cases, after Russia (over 1.4 million), Brazil (more than 5.2 million), India (7.5-plus) and the U.S. (over 8.2 million), per Johns Hopkins. "It means one in every 45 Argentinians have had the virus," the Guardian notes. The country reported Monday that the virus had killed another 451 people, taking the death toll to over 26,000.

Editor's note: The headline of this story has been corrected to show Argentina passed 1 million cases not 5 million.

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
47 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."