U.S. unemployment claims decreased for the week ended January 16

January 21, 2021

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, decreased by 26,000 to 900,000 for the week ending January 16, from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised from 965,000 to 926,000 down by 39,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 848,000, a rise of 23,500. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised down by 9,750 from 834,250 to 824,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 3.6% for the week ending January 9, stable from the prior week’s revised rate.  Moreover, DOL stated that, “the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending January 9 was 5,054,000, a decrease of 127,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 90,000 from 5,271,000 to 5,181,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 67,000 to 5,126,250.



Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 960,668 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending January 16, a decline of 151,303 (or -13.6%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors anticipated a decrease of 124,946 (or -11.2%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending January 16, 47 states observed 423,734 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending January 9, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 3.9% relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 203,750 (or -3.5%) to 5,563,048 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had anticipated a decrease of 76,466 (or -1.3%) from the previous week.

A total of 15,994,519 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended January 2, a decline of 2,412,508 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending January 2, were accessible in the following 20 states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, 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 9th of January, 3,139 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a rise of 1,131 relative to the previous week, whereas 1,249 newly discharged veterans (+189) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 2nd of January, 18,620 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, an increase of 1,747 relative to the previous week, whereas 9,702 newly discharged veterans (+202) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending January 2, 49 states reported 5,707,397 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 3,026,952 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending January 2, Kansas observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 7.5% followed by Pennsylvania (7.2), Alaska (6.6), Illinois (6.1), Nevada (5.9), California (5.8), Puerto Rico (5.8), New Mexico (5.7), Colorado (5.6), and Minnesota (5.5).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending January 9 were n Illinois (+49,557), Kansas (+22,128), California (+21,636), Texas (+18,732), and New York (+16,204), while the largest decreases were in Colorado (-10,996), Michigan (-5,802), Kentucky (-5,542), Louisiana (-4,868), and Washington (-2,573).


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