Weekly Jobless Claims Decrease Slightly, Economic Slowdown Looms

U.S. Department of Labor

In the week ending November 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 712,000, a decrease of 75,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 9,000 from 778,000 to 787,000. The 4-week moving average was 739,500, a decrease of 11,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,250 from 748,500 to 750,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.8 percent for the week ending November 21, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the previous week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.1 from 4.1 to 4.2 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 21 was 5,520,000, a decrease of 569,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 18,000 from 6,071,000 to 6,089,000. The 4-week moving average was 6,194,250, a decrease of 425,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 4,500 from 6,615,250 to 6,619,750.

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 713,824 in the week ending November 28, a decrease of 122,453 (or -14.6 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 47,067 (or -5.6 percent) from the previous week. There were 216,827 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019. In addition, for the week ending November 28, 52 states reported 288,701 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6 percent during the week ending November 21, a decrease of 0.4percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 5,240,575, a decrease of 690,170 (or -11.6 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 120,501 (or -2.0 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.0 percent and the volume was 1,508,294.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending November 14 was 20,163,477, a decrease of 349,633 from the previous week. There were 1,573,485 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2019.

During the week ending November 14, Extended Benefits were available in the following 36 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, 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, Washington, and West Virginia.

Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 2,807 in the week ending November 21, an increase of 371 from the prior week.

There were 823 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 69 from the preceding week. There were 14,494 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending November 14, an increase of 955 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 11,154, a decrease of 47 from the prior week.

During the week ending November 14, 51 states reported 8,869,502 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 4,569,016 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending November 14 were in the Virgin Islands (7.9), California (7.3), Hawaii (7.1), Nevada (6.7), Alaska (6.4), Massachusetts (6.0), Georgia (5.7), Illinois (5.6), District of Columbia (5.5), and Puerto Rico (5.5).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 21 were in Illinois (+18,796), Michigan (+17,285), Washington (+13,499), Georgia (+9,462), and California (+9,361), while the largest decreases were in Louisiana (-33,573), Massachusetts (-22,572), New Jersey (-783), Idaho (-328), and District of Columbia (-255).

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