Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Dec 21 2023

U.S. Jobless Claims Rise Just 2,000 in December 16 Week

  • Latest week’s initial claims slightly less than forecast
  • Insured unemployment edge down 1,000 in December 9 week
  • Insured unemployment rate steady at 1.3%

Initial claims for unemployment insurance were little changed in the latest week, ended December 16, as they rose to 205,000 seasonally adjusted from the prior week’s 203,000; that earlier week was revised just slightly from 202,000 reported before. The Action Economics Forecast Survey had expected a slightly larger increase to 211,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 212,000 in the December 16 week, just barely below the 213,500 in the week before.

The amount of insured unemployment – also known as continuing claims or continued weeks claimed – was 1.865 million seasonally adjusted in the week ended December 9, just below the prior week’s 1.866 million. That earlier week was revised down somewhat from 1.876 million reported before.

The insured unemployment rate in the December 9 week was 1.3%, the same as in the prior week. This is the number of continued weeks claimed as a percentage of covered employment.

Insured unemployment rates vary widely by states and territories. In the week ended December 2, the highest rates were in New Jersey (2.28%), California (2.17%), Alaska (2.15%), Puerto Rico (1.94%) and Minnesota (1.87%). The lowest rates were in Virginia (0.32%), South Dakota and Florida (each 0.35%), Kansas (0.39%), North Carolina (0.40%) and Tennessee (0.45%). Rates in other large states include Ohio (0.86%), Texas (1.00%), Illinois (1.59%), Pennsylvania (1.71%) and New York (1.73%). These state rates are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on weekly unemployment claims are from the Department of Labor itself, not the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They go back to 1967 and are contained in Haver’s WEEKLY database and are summarized monthly in USECON. Data for individual states are in REGIONW back to December 1986. The expectations figure is from the Action Economics Forecast Survey, in the AS1REPNA database.

  • Carol Stone, CBE came to Haver Analytics in 2003 following more than 35 years as a financial market economist at major Wall Street financial institutions, most especially Merrill Lynch and Nomura Securities. She has broad experience in analysis and forecasting of flow-of-funds accounts, the federal budget and Federal Reserve operations. At Nomura Securites, among other duties, she developed various indicator forecasting tools and edited a daily global publication produced in London and New York for readers in Tokyo.   At Haver Analytics, Carol is a member of the Research Department, aiding database managers with research and documentation efforts, as well as posting commentary on select economic reports. In addition, she conducts Ways-of-the-World, a blog on economic issues for an Episcopal-Church-affiliated website, The Geranium Farm.   During her career, Carol served as an officer of the Money Marketeers and the Downtown Economists Club. She has a PhD from NYU's Stern School of Business. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and has a weekend home on Long Island.

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