U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Hit Lowest Level since 1969

Rick McCartney

In the week ending November 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 199,000, a decrease of 71,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for initial claims since November 15, 1969 when it was 197,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 268,000 to 270,000. The 4-week moving average was 252,250, a decrease of 21,000 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 225,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 272,750 to 273,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.5 percent for the week ending November 13, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.1 from 1.5 to 1.6 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 13 was 2,049,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 14, 2020 when it was 1,770,000. The previous week’s level was revised up 29,000 from 2,080,000 to 2,109,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,117,000, a decrease of 47,500 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since March 21, 2020 when it was 2,071,750. The previous week’s average was revised up by 7,250 from 2,157,250 to 2,164,500.

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 258,622 in the week ending November 20, an increase of 18,187 (or 7.6 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 88,572 (or 36.8 percent) from the previous week. There were 828,099 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. In addition, for the week ending November 20, 32 states reported 1,616 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3 percent during the week ending November 13, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted level of insured unemployment in state programs totaled 1,814,354, an increase of 31,049 (or 1.7 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 91,124 (or 5.1 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 4.0 percent and the volume was 5,917,233.

The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending November 6 was 2,432,281, a decrease of 752,390 from the previous week. There were 21,111,266 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2020.
During the week ending November 6, Extended Benefits were available in the following 4 states: Alaska, Connecticut, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,010 in the week ending November 13, an increase of 42 from the prior week. There were 393 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 42 from the preceding week.

There were 7,854 continued weeks claimed filed by former Federal civilian employees the week ending November 6, a decrease of 169 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 4,837, a decrease of 164 from the prior week.

the week ending November 6, 40 states reported 334,750 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 41 states reported 151,556 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending November 6 were in the Virgin Islands (3.0), Alaska (2.7), District of Columbia (2.7), Puerto Rico (2.7), California (2.6), New Jersey (2.5), Hawaii (2.1), Nevada (2.1), Illinois (1.9), and New York (1.8).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 13 were in California (+4,690), Massachusetts (+2,269), Pennsylvania (+1,994), Minnesota (+1,202), and Wisconsin (+907), while the largest decreases were in Kentucky (-8,712), Tennessee (-4,001), Ohio (-3,315), Michigan (-3,230), and Illinois (-1,184).

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