U.S. unemployment claims decreased for the week ended December 26

December 31, 2020

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, decreased by 19,000 to 787,000 for the week ending December 26, from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised from 803,000 to 806,000 up by 3,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 836,750, an increase of 17,750. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised up by 750 from 818,250 to 819,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 3.6% for the week ending December 19, constant from the prior week’s unrevised rate.  Moreover, DOL stated that, “advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 19 was 5,219,000, a decrease of 103,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 15,000 from 5,337,000 to 5,322,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 77,000 to 5,457,250. Notably, there was a downward revision in the preceding week’s average down by 3,750 from 5,538,000 to 5,534,250.




Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 841,111 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending December 26, a decline of f 31,736 (or -3.6%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors anticipated a decrease of 12,655 (or -1.4 %) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending December 26, 52 states observed 308,262 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending December 19, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage point to 3.6% relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 171,035 (or -3.2%) to 5,258,073 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had anticipated a decline of 68,324 (or -1.3%) from the previous week.


A total of 19,563,905 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended December 12, a decline of 799,841 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending December 12, were accessible in the following 24 states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, the Virgin Islands, and Washington.

For the week ending the 19th of December, 1,669 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 693 relative to the previous week, whereas 854 newly discharged veterans (+68) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 12th of December, 17,003 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 266 relative to the previous week, whereas 9,907 newly discharged veterans (+406) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending December 12, 51 states reported 8,459,647 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 4,772,853 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending December 12, Puerto Rico observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 7.5% followed by the Virgin Islands (6.8), Alaska (6.5), Nevada (6.2), New Mexico (6.2), California (5.8), Kansas (5.8), Pennsylvania (5.8), Illinois (5.7), and Hawaii (5.2).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 19 were Pennsylvania (+8,047), Illinois (+6,695), Colorado (+4,544), Georgia (+2,971), and Florida (+2,591), while the largest decreases were in California (-45,727), New York (-17,047), Ohio (-7,209), Kansas (-4,290), and Texas (-3,666).


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