U.S. Jobless Claims Remain High Despite Recent Weekly Decreases

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending October 24, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 751,000, a decrease of 40,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 4,000 from 787,000 to 791,000. The 4-week moving average was 787,750, a decrease of 24,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,000 from 811,250 to 812,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for the week ending October 17, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.1 from 5.7 to 5.8 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 17 was 7,756,000, a decrease of 709,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 92,000 from 8,373,000 to 8,465,000. The 4-week moving average was 9,053,250, a decrease of 1,055,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 23,250 from 10,085,750 to 10,109,000.

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 732,223 in the week ending October 24, a decrease of 28,354 (or -3.7 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 11,998 (or 1.6 percent) from the previous week. There were 198,733 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019. In addition, for the week ending October 24, 51 states reported 359,667 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 5.1 percent during the week ending October 17, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 7,422,454, a decrease of 662,405 (or -8.2 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 46,992 (or 0.6 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.0 percent and the volume was 1,419,512.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending October 10 was 22,654,453, a decrease of 415,727 from the previous week. There were 1,411,728 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019.

During the week ending October 10, Extended Benefits were available in the following 44 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Initial claims for UI benefit s filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,736 in the week ending October 17, an increase of 217 from the prior week.

There were 849 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 49 from the preceding week. There were 11,751 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending October 10, a decrease of 179 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 13,075, a decrease of 746 from the prior week.

During the week ending October 10, 51 states reported 10,324,779 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 50 states reported 3,683,496 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending October 10 were in Hawaii (12.6), California (10.5), Nevada (10.0), Georgia (8.3), District of Columbia (7.9), Louisiana (7.8), Puerto Rico (7.4), Massachusetts (7.1), New Mexico (7.1), and Illinois (6.8).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending October 17 were in Massachusetts (+5,442), Kansas (+3,010), Virginia (+2,255), Texas (+616), and Minnesota (+493), while the largest decreases were in California (-16,207), New York (-11,495), Georgia (-9,274), Florida (-7,834), and Michigan (-7,774).

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