U.S. unemployment claims decreased for the week ended October 17

October 23, 2020

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, decreased by 55,000 to 787,000 for the week ending October 17 from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised from 898,000 to 842,000 down by 56,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 811,250, a decline of 21,500. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised down by 33,500 from 866,250 to 832,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 5.7% for the week ending October 10, a 0.7 percentage point decrease from the prior week’s revised rate.  Moreover, DOL stated that, “advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 10 was 8,373,000, a decrease of 1,024,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 621,000 from 10,018,000 to 9,397,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 1,093,500 to 10,085,750. Notably, there was a downward revision in the preceding week’s average by 302,500 from 11,481,750 to 11,179,250.


Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 756,617 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending October 17, a decline of 73,125 (or -8.8%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 18,362 (or -2.2%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending October 17, 53 states observed 345,440 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending October 10, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 5.5%, a 0.6 percentage point decline relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 1,018,737 (or -11.3 %) to 7,992,238 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 6,014 (or 0.1%) from the previous week.


A total of 23,150,427 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended October 3, a decrease of 1,046,493 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending October 3, were accessible in the following 44 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

For the week ending the 10th of October, 1,519 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, an increase of 51 relative to the previous week, whereas, 898 newly discharged veterans (-4) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 3rd of October, 11,930 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 229 relative to the previous week, whereas 13,821 newly discharged veterans (-30) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending Oct 3, 51 states reported 10,232,853 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 50 states reported 3,296,156 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending October 3, Hawaii observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 14.9% followed by California (11.5), Nevada (11.3), Georgia (9.3), Puerto Rico (9.3), Louisiana (8.8), District of Columbia (8.4), New Mexico (7.8), New York (7.7), and Illinois (7.6).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending October 10  were California (+27,870), Illinois (+11,261), Massachusetts (+10,481), Georgia (+9,292), and Indiana (+7,840), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-2,615), North Carolina (-2,362), Virginia (-1,733), Montana (-579), and Mississippi (-375).

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