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Economy in Brief

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Decline
by Tom Moeller  July 9, 2020

• State initial jobless claims fell to 1.314 million last week.

• New applications for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance rose to 1.039 million.

• Continuing claims for jobless insurance and the insured jobless rate eased.

Initial jobless claims for unemployment insurance fell to 1.314 million during the week ending July 4 from 1.413 million during the prior week, revised from 1.427 million. The Action Economics Forecast Survey called for 1.200 million claims. The four-week moving average of initial claims eased to 1.437 million.

Claims for the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which cover self-employed individuals who are not qualified for regular/state unemployment insurance, increased to 1.039 million from 996,842, revised from 839,563 in the week ending July 4.

Continuing claims for unemployment insurance eased to 18.062 million in the week ending June 27 from 18.760 million in the prior week, revised from 19.290 million. Continuing Pandemic Unemployment Insurance claims, which are lagged an additional week, jumped to 14.363 million from a little-changed 12.853 million. Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation claims rose to 850,461 in the week ending June 20. This program covers people who were unemployed before COVID but exhausted their state benefits and are now eligible to receive an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance, up to a total of 39 weeks.

The insured rate of unemployment fell to 12.4% in the week ended June 27 from 12.9% in the prior week, revised from 13.2%. This data does not include the federal pandemic assistance programs. Including the latest data available, which is lagged one additional week, the number of continuing claims increased to a new high of 32.9 million or 20.6% of the labor force.

The state insured rate of unemployment, which does not include federal programs, declined to 12.4%. South Dakota was lowest at 4.1% and Nevada was highest at 20.8%. New York stood at 17.1%, California at 16.7%, New Jersey at 12.9%, Texas at 10.6% and Ohio at 8.4%. The state rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on weekly unemployment claims going back to 1967 are contained in Haver's WEEKLY database, and they are summarized monthly in USECON. Data for individual states are in REGIONW. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, carried in the AS1REPNA database.

Unemployment Insurance (SA, 000s) 07/04/20 06/27/20 06/20/20 Y/Y % 2019 2018 2017
Initial Claims 1,314 1,413 1,482 523 218 221 244
  4-week Average 1,437 1,500 1,621 -- -- -- --
Initial Claims Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (NSA) 1,039 997 881 -- -- -- --
Continuing Claims -- 18,062 18,760 952 1,701 1,756 1,961
  4-week Average -- 19,086 19,722 -- -- -- --
Continuing Claims Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (NSA) -- -- 14,363 -- -- -- --
Insured Unemployment Rate (%) -- 12.4 12.9

1.1
(Jun 2019)

1.2 1.2 1.4
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