Haver Analytics
Haver Analytics
| Nov 16 2023

U.S. Unemployment Claims Continued to Climb

  • Weekly claims increased to 231,000 in the week ended November 11, their highest reading since mid-August.
  • Continuing claims also rose further to 1.865 million in the week ended November 4, their highest level since November 27, 2021.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 231,000 (+9.5% y/y) in the week ended November 11 from a slightly upwardly revised 218,000 in the prior week (previously 217,000). This was the highest reading since the week ended August 19 and compares to a recent low of 200,000 in the second week of October. The Action Economics Forecast Survey had expected 220,000 initial claims in the latest week. The four-week average also increased for the fourth consecutive week—to 220,250 from 212,500 in the previous week.

Insured unemployment, also known as “continued weeks claimed” or “continuing claims,” rose to 1.865 million (+28.3% y/y) in the week ended November 4 from a slightly downwardly revised 1.833 million in the prior week (previously 1.834 million). This was the highest level of continuing claims since the week ended November 27, 2021. The level of continuing claims has risen steadily since early September and clearly points to some softening in labor-market conditions.

The insured unemployment rate (the number of recipients in the latest available week as a percent of covered employment) rose to 1.3% in the week ended November 4 from 1.2% over the previous five weeks.

The insured unemployment rates in regular programs vary widely across states. In the week ended October 28, the highest rates were in New Jersey (2.07%), California (2.05%), Hawaii (1.95%), Alaska (1.66%) and New York (1.58%). The lowest rates were in South Dakota (0.20%), North Dakota (0.31%), Virginia (0.33%), Kansas (0.35%) and Florida (0.39%). Other large states include Ohio (0.72%), Texas (1.00%), Pennsylvania (1.40%), Illinois (1.38%) and Massachusetts (1.57%). These state data are not seasonally adjusted.

Data on weekly unemployment claims go back to 1967 and are contained in Haver’s WEEKLY database; they 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.

  • Sandy Batten has more than 30 years of experience analyzing industrial economies and financial markets and a wide range of experience across the financial services sector, government, and academia.   Before joining Haver Analytics, Sandy was a Vice President and Senior Economist at Citibank; Senior Credit Market Analyst at CDC Investment Management, Managing Director at Bear Stearns, and Executive Director at JPMorgan.   In 2008, Sandy was named the most accurate US forecaster by the National Association for Business Economics. He is a member of the New York Forecasters Club, NABE, and the American Economic Association.   Prior to his time in the financial services sector, Sandy was a Research Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, Senior Staff Economist on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy at the US Treasury, and Economist at the International Monetary Fund. Sandy has taught economics at St. Louis University, Denison University, and Muskingun College. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles in a wide range of academic publications. He has a B.A. in economics from the University of Richmond and a M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from The Ohio State University.  

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