Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Dec 28 2023

U.S. Jobless Claims Up 12,000 in December 23 Week

  • Latest week’s initial claims higher than forecast.
  • December 16 week’s continuing claims up 14,000 from prior week.
  • Insured unemployment rate 1.3%, up slightly from prior week’s downwardly revised 1.2%.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 218,000 seasonally adjusted in the week ended December 23, up from 206,000 the week before; that earlier amount was revised marginally from 205,000. The Action Economics Forecast Survey expected 210,000 in the latest week. The four-week moving average of initial claims was 212,000 in the latest week, down slightly from 212,250 in the prior week.

The amount of insured unemployment – also known as continuing claims or continued weeks claimed – was 1.875 million seasonally adjusted in the week ended December 16, up from 1.861 million the week before. That earlier week was revised down a bit from 1.865 million initially reported.

The insured unemployment rate, that is, the amount of insured unemployment as a percentage of covered employment, was 1.3% in the December 16 week, up modestly from 1.2% in the prior week. That earlier rate was revised down slightly from 1.3% reported before.

Insured unemployment rates vary widely by states and territories. In the week ended December 9, the highest rates were in New Jersey (2.34%), Alaska (2.25%), California (2.18%), Montana (1.99%) and Minnesota (1.98%). The lowest rates were in Virginia (0.33%), North Carolina, South Dakota and Florida (each 0.41%), Kansas and Kentucky (each 0.43%) and Tennessee (0.46%). Rates in other large states include Ohio (0.90%), Texas (1.10%), Pennsylvania (1.74%) and New York (1.75%). 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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