Jobless Claims Decrease for The Third Straight Week

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Weekly initial jobless claims declined by 33,000 in the week ending January 30. Continuing claims, which lag initial jobless claims by one week, decreased by 193,000 in the week ending January 23. This week’s jobless claims indicate that the labor market is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic gradually. More hiring is expected when Coronavirus vaccines become more widely distributed.

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 33,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 779,000 for the week ending January 30. It is the third week of decline after weekly jobless claims soared to 927,000 in the week ending January 9. In the week ending January 30, jobless claims were 89% lower than the peak of 7 million and four times higher than the pre-pandemic average of 0.2 million. The four-week moving average rose to 848,250, from a revised average of 849,500 in the previous week. The 46-week’s total jobless claims reached 77.2 million.

Meanwhile, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment (in regular state programs), known as continuing claims, declined by 193,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 4,592,000 in the week ending January 23. The four-week moving average declined to 4,881,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 5,001,750. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.2% for the week ending January 23.

On a not seasonally adjusted basis, states’ regular unemployment insurance claims decreased by 258,852 to 5,188,141 in the week ending January 16. Meanwhile, the number of persons claiming unemployment insurance benefits in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program declined by 125,969, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program decreased by 289,910.

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 816,247 in the week ending January 30, a decrease of 23,525 from the previous week.

The chart above presents the top 10 states ranked by the number of advanced initial claims for the week ending January 30. California, New York and Florida had the most advanced initial claims. California led the way with 104,409 initial claims, followed by New York with 75,346 initial claims and Florida with 71,046 initial claims. South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont had the least advanced initial claims.

For the week ending January 30, California, New York and Florida also had the largest increases in advanced initial claims. California reported an increase of 46,183 advanced initial claims, New York increased by 9,096 and Florida increased by 8,228. About two thirds of the states reported declines in advanced initial claims. Illinois (-55,089), Texas (-8,965), and Kansas (-8,532) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims.



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