U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Remain High, Record Numbers Out of Work

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending November 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 709,000, a decrease of 48,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 6,000 from 751,000 to 757,000. The 4-week moving average was 755,250, a decrease of 33,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 1,500 from 787,000 to 788,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.6 percent for the week ending October 31, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.1 from 5.0 to 4.9 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 31 was 6,786,000, a decrease of 436,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 63,000 from 7,285,000 to 7,222,000. The 4-week moving average was 7,575,750, a decrease of 653,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 15,750 from 8,244,500 to 8,228,750.

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 723,105 in the week ending November 7, a decrease of 20,799 (or -2.8 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 27,098 (or 3.6 percent) from the previous week. There were 238,996 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019. In addition, for the week ending November 7, 53 states reported 298,154 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.4 percent during the week ending October 31, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 6,486,000, a decrease of 402,298 (or -5.8 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 33,835 (or 0.5 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.0 percent and the volume was 1,450,304.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending October 24 was 21,157,111, a decrease of 374,179 from the previous week. There were 1,449,519 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019.

During the week ending October 24, Extended Benefits were available in the following 40 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, 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, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 2,850 in the week ending October 31, an increase of 679 from the prior week. There were 829 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 78 from the preceding week.

There were 12,357 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending October 24, an increase of 220 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 12,176, a decrease of 241 from the prior week.

During the week ending Oct 24, 51 states reported 9,433,127 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 4,143,389 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending October 24 were in Hawaii (9.9), California(8.9), New Mexico (8.5), Nevada (8.2), the Virgin Islands (7.1), Massachusetts (7.0), Puerto Rico (6.9), Georgia (6.8), District of Columbia (6.5), and Alaska (6.1).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending October 31 were in Illinois (+20,377), Kentucky (+3,868), Pennsylvania (+3,768), Ohio (+3,766), and Kansas (+2,711), while the largest decreases were in Massachusetts (-8,470), Georgia (-6,442), New York (-5,883), Michigan (-3,067), and New Jersey (-2,500).

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