Jobless Claims Continue to Fall


Weekly initial jobless claims decreased for the week ending October 24, and continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, fell for the week ending October 17. The decreases in initial and continuing claims reflect that labor market continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic gradually.

According to the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report released by the U.S. Department of Labor today, the number of initial jobless claims decreased by 40,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 751,000 for the week ending October 24. This week’s initial jobless claims were 89% lower than the peak of 7 million but 166% higher than the pre-pandemic level of 0.3 million in the week ending March 14. The 32-week’s total jobless claims reached 65.9 million. The four-week moving average decreased to 787,750, from a revised average of 812,250 in the previous week.

In addition to the decline in initial jobless claims, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (in regular state programs), known as continuing claims, decreased by 709,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 7,756,000 in the week ending October 17. It is the seventh consecutive decline in continuing claims and marks the lowest level after continuing claims hit 24.9 million in the early of May. The four-week moving average declined to 9,053,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 10,109,000. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate decreased by 0.5 percentage point to 5.3% for the week ending October 17. The previous week’s rate was revised up by 0.1 percentage point from 5.7% to 5.8%.

On a not seasonally adjusted basis, states’ regular unemployment insurance claims decreased by 921,277 to 8,031,303 in the week ending October 10, while the number of persons claiming unemployment insurance benefits in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program increased by 172,026 and 387,340, respectively.

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 732,223 in the week ending October 24, a decrease of 28,354 from the previous week.

The chart above presents the top 10 states ranked by the number of advanced initial claims for the week ending October 24. California, Illinois and New York had the most advanced initial claims. California led the way with 152,057 initial claims, followed by Illinois with 54,819 initial claims and New York with 52,283 initial claims. South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming had the least advanced initial claims across all the states.

Meanwhile, nearly two third of states reported declines in advanced initial claims for the week ending October 24. Texas (-11,551), Florida (-9,196), and California (-7,819) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims. Michigan, Illinois and Virginia had the largest increases in advanced initial claims. Michigan reported an increase of 8,763 advanced initial claims, Illinois increased by 7,871 and Virginia increased by 3,207.


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