Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Dec 29 2022

U.S. Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Edged Up in Latest Week

  • Claims rose 9,000 in the week ended December 24.

  • Continued weeks claimed were up modestly.

  • Insured unemployment rate holds steady.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 225,000 (6.6% y/y) during the week ended December 24 from the previous week's unrevised level of 216,000. A level of 220,000 had been expected in the Action Economics Forecast Survey.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims was 221,000, a decrease from the previous week's average of 221,250, revised from 221,750. It remained well below an early-August high of 249,500 but also well above an early-April low of 170,500.

In the week ended December 17, continued weeks claimed for unemployment insurance increased to 1.710 million (-4.6% y/y) from 1.669 million in the prior week, revised down from 1.672 million. The 4-week moving average was 1.680 million, a rise of 25,250 from the previous week's 1.654 million, revised from 1.657 million.

The insured unemployment rate in the week ended December 17 was steady at 1.2%. The insured unemployment rate edged up to 1.2% in late November from 1.0% in early that month. It had been as low as 0.9% between May and July.

In the week ended December 10, the total number of continued weeks claimed in all unemployment insurance programs was 1.620 million (-15.7% y/y) up from 1.528 million the week prior. This total includes federal employees, newly discharged veterans, extended benefits and other specialized programs and is not seasonally adjusted. Claims in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation are no longer included in the main Labor Department press release, as both programs have expired.

The insured rates of unemployment in regular programs vary across states. The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending December 10 were in Alaska (2.28%), California (2.06%), New Jersey (2.11%), Puerto Rico (1.99%), Minnesota (1.83%), Montana (1.78%), Rhode Island (1.67%), Massachusetts (1.62%), New York (1.61%), and Washington (1.57%). The lowest rates were in Alabama (0.24%), Virginia (0.25%), Kansas (0.30%), and New Hampshire (0.35%). Other state insured rates of unemployment in regular programs include Illinois (1.54%), Pennsylvania (1.39%), Texas (0.93%) and Florida (0.47%). These 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.

  • Kathleen Stephansen is a Senior Economist for Haver Analytics and an Independent Trustee for the EQAT/VIP/1290 Trust Funds, encompassing the US mutual funds sponsored by the Equitable Life Insurance Company. She is a former Chief Economist of Huawei Technologies USA, Senior Economic Advisor to the Boston Consulting Group, Chief Economist of the American International Group (AIG) and AIG Asset Management’s Senior Strategist and Global Head of Sovereign Research. Prior to joining AIG in 2010, Kathleen held various positions as Chief Economist or Head of Global Research at Aladdin Capital Holdings, Credit Suisse and Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette Securities Corporation.

    Kathleen serves on the boards of the Global Interdependence Center (GIC), as Vice-Chair of the GIC College of Central Bankers, is the Treasurer for Economists for Peace and Security (EPS) and is a former board member of the National Association of Business Economics (NABE). She is a member of Chatham House and the Economic Club of New York. She holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the Universite Catholique de Louvain and graduate degrees in economics from the University of New Hampshire (MA) and the London School of Economics (PhD abd).

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