Continuing Claims Continue to Decline

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According to the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report released by the U.S. Department of Labor today, weekly initial jobless claims increased for the week ending October 10, while continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, fell for the week ending October 3. Labor market continues to struggle to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the week ending October 10, the number of initial jobless claims increased by 53,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 898,000. This week’s initial jobless claims were the highest number since August 22 and 218% higher than the pre-pandemic level of 0.3 million in the week ending March 14. It brought the 30-week’s total to 64.5 million. The four-week moving average increased to 866,250, from a revised average of 858,250 in the previous week.

Meanwhile and perhaps more importantly, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (in regular state programs), known as continuing claims, decreased by nearly 1.2 million to a seasonally adjusted level of 10,018,000 in the week ending October 3. It is the fifth consecutive decrease and the lowest level after continuing claims hit 24.9 million in the early of May.

The four-week moving average declined to 11,481,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 12,164,000. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate decreased by 0.9 percentage point to 6.8% for the week ending October 3. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.2 percentage point from 7.5% to 7.7%.

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 885,885 in the week ending October 10, an increase of 76,670 from the previous week.

The chart below presents the top 10 states ranked by the number of advanced initial claims for the week ending October 10. Like last week, California, New York and Georgia had the most advanced initial claims. California was unchanged from last week, with 226,179 initial claims, as the state of California announced it is taking a two-week pause in its processing of initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits. New York reported 68,670 initial claims, followed by Georgia with 53,400 initial claims. South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming had the least advanced initial claims across all the states.

Meanwhile, about one third of states reported declines in advanced initial claims for the week ending October 10. Michigan (-4,793), Alabama (-1,258), and Oklahoma (-940) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims. Indiana, Illinois and Massachusetts had the largest increases in advanced initial claims. Indiana reported an increase of 18,788 advanced initial claims, Illinois increased by 9,805 and Massachusetts increased by 9,582.



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