Initial and Continuing Jobless Claims Decline

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Weekly initial jobless claims continued to decrease in the week ending July 4 and continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims by one week, declined to about 18.1 million in the week ending June 20. The data indicate that the labor market is gradually recovering from the COVID-19 crisis as states reopen and workers return to work, albeit slowly.

The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending July 4. The number of initial jobless claims declined by 99,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 1,314,000, compared to the previous week’s revised claims of 1,413,000. Initial claims have declined for the past 14 weeks after a peak of 6.9 million in late March but remained above 1 million. The four-week moving average decreased to 1,437,250, from a revised average of 1,500,250 in the previous week. Weekly new claims brought the 16-week’s total to 50.0 million.

Meanwhile, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment, known as continuing claims, fell by 698,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 18,062,000 in the week ending June 27. It is the third week that continuing claims were below 20 million. The four-week moving average declined to 19,085,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 19,721,500. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point to 12.4% for the week ending June 27. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.3 percentage point from 13.2% to 12.9%.

The U.S. Department of Labor also released the advanced number of actual initial claims under state programs without seasonal adjustments. The unadjusted number of advanced initial claims totaled 1,399,699 in the week ending July 4, a decrease of 31,644 from the previous week.

The chart below presents the top 10 states ranked by the number of advanced initial claims for the week ending July 4. California, Texas and Georgia had the most advanced initial claims. California led the way with 267,123 initial claims, followed by Texas with 117,244 initial claims and Georgia with 103,590 initial claims. Meanwhile, South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont had the least advanced initial claims across all the states.

Compared to the previous week, Texas, New Jersey and Louisiana had the largest increases in advanced initial claims for the week ending July 4. Texas reported an increase of 20,651 advanced initial claims. New Jersey increased by 18,719 and Louisiana increased by 9,931. Indiana (-20,741), Florida (-17,300) and Georgia (-13,895) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims.



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