Initial Jobless Claims Rise

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Weekly initial jobless claims increased to 1.4 million in the week ending July 18, breaking the downward trend since April 4. Continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims by one week, declined to 16.2 million the week ending July 11. The increase in initial jobless claims reflected another wave of closures and the pause of reopening procedures in some states as the number of coronavirus cases rises.

The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending July 18. The number of initial jobless claims increased by 109,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 1,416,000, from the previous week’s revised level of 1,307,000 claims. This marks the 18th straight week that weekly initial claims surpassed 1 million. The four-week moving average decreased to 1,360,250, from a revised average of 1,376,750 in the previous week. Weekly new claims brought the 18-week’s total to 52.7 million.

Meanwhile, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (in regular state programs), known as continuing claims, fell by 1,107,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 16,197,000 in the week ending July 11. It is the fifth week that continuing claims were below 20 million. The four-week moving average declined to 17,505,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 18,263,750. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate declined by 0.7 percentage point to 11.1% for the week ending July 11. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.1 percentage point from 11.9% to 11.8%.

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 1,370,947 in the week ending July 18, a decrease of 141,816 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 18. Like the previous week, California, Georgia and Florida still had the most advanced initial claims. California led the way with 292,673 initial claims, followed by Georgia with 120,281 initial claims and Florida with 105,410 initial claims. Meanwhile, South Dakota, Vermont and North Dakota had the least advanced initial claims across all the states.

Compared to the previous week, Virginia, California and Louisiana had the largest increases in advanced initial claims for the week ending July 18. Virginia reported an increase of 7,896 advanced initial claims. California increased by 7,759 and Louisiana increased by 4,804. Georgia (-18,171), Texas (-18,695) and Florida (-27,421) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims.



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