Initial Jobless Claims Decline Slightly

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Weekly initial jobless claims declined slightly in the week ending July 11 and continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims by one week, declined to the lowest level since the week ending April 11. The data indicate that people return to work, albeit slowly, as states reopen economic and social activity. The labor market has gradually improved, but it has a long way to go to return to the pre-pandemic level.

The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending July 11. The number of initial jobless claims declined slightly by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 1,300,000, from the previous week’s revised level of 1,310,000 claims. Initial claims have declined continuously for the past 15 weeks after a peak of 6.9 million in late March but remained above 1 million. The four-week moving average decreased to 1,375,000, from a revised average of 1,435,000 in the previous week. Weekly new claims brought the 17-week’s total to 51.3 million.

Meanwhile, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment, known as continuing claims, fell by 422,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 17,338,000 in the week ending July 4. It is the fourth week that continuing claims were below 20 million. The four-week moving average declined to 18,272,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 19,010,000. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 11.9% for the week ending July 4. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.2 percentage point from 12.4% to 12.2%.

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 1,503,892 in the week ending July 11, an increase of 108,811 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 11. California, Georgia and Florida had the most advanced initial claims. California led the way with 287,732 initial claims, followed by Georgia with 136,336 initial claims and Florida with 129,408 initial claims. Meanwhile, South Dakota, Wyoming and North Dakota had the least advanced initial claims across all the states.

Compared to the previous week, Florida, Georgia and California had the largest increases in advanced initial claims for the week ending July 11. Florida reported an increase of 62,467 advanced initial claims. Georgia increased by 31,176 and California increased by 22,941. New Jersey (-10,055), Texas (-11,509) and Maryland (-14,534) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims.



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