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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.

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.