According to the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report released by the U.S. Department of Labor today, weekly initial jobless claims inched up during the week ending September 19, and continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, decreased for the week ending September 12. The data indicate that labor market continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, but at a slow pace.
In the week ending September 19, the number of initial jobless claims increased by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 870,000, from the previous week’s revised level. Now, the number of weekly initial jobless claims was far below the peak of 7 million in March but remained historically high. This week’s new claims brought the 27-week’s total to 61.9 million. The four-week moving average decreased to 878,250, from a revised average of 913,500 in the previous week.
Meanwhile, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (in regular state programs), known as continuing claims, decreased by 167,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 12,580,000 in the week ending September 12. It is the second 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 13,040,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 13,518,750. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point to 8.6% for the week ending September 12. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.1 percentage point from 8.6% to 8.7%.
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 824,542 in the week ending September 19, an increase of 28,527 from the previous week.
The chart below presents the top 10 states ranked by the number of advanced initial claims for the week ending September 19. California, New York and Georgia had the most advanced initial claims. California led the way with 230,443 initial claims, followed by New York with 71,300 initial claims and Georgia with 48,472 initial claims. Like last week, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming still had the least advanced initial claims across all the states.
Compared to the previous week, the three top states (New York, Georgia and California) with the most advanced initial claims also had the largest increases in advanced initial claims for the week ending September 19. New York reported an increase of 9,403 advanced initial claims. Georgia increased by 6,387 and California increased by 4,439. Illinois (-4,271), Michigan (-4,092), and Louisiana (-2,114) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims.