U.S. unemployment claims dip for the week ended August 22

August 27, 2020

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, rose to 1,006,000, a decrease of 98,000 for the week ending August 22 from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised to 1,104,000 from 1,106,000 down by 2,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 1,068,000, a decrease of 107,250. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised down by 500 from 1,175,750 to 1,175,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 9.9% for the week ending August 15, a 0.2 percentage point decline from the prior week’s revised rate. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.1 percentage points from 10.2% to 10.1%. Moreover, DOL stated that, “advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 15 was 14,535,000, a decrease of 223,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 86,000 from 14,844,000 to 14,758,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 604,000 to 15,215,750. Notably, there was a downward revision in the preceding week’s average by 21,500 from 15,841,250 to 15,819,750.




Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 821,591 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending August 22, a decrease of 67,958 (or -7.6%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had anticipated a rise of 12,140 (or 1.4%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending August 22, 51 states observed 607,806 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending August 15, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 9.5%, a 0.2 percentage point decrease relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 272,941 (or -1.9%) to 13,909,872 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 59,034 (or -0.4%) from the prior week.


A total of 27,017,232 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended August 8, a decrease of 1,042,323 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending August 8, were accessible in the following 52 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

For the week ending the 15th of August, 1,145 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decrease of 32 relative to the previous week, whereas 1,029 newly discharged veterans (-2) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 8th of August, 13,968 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decrease of 646 relative to the previous week, whereas 13,566 newly discharged veterans (-346) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending August 8, 49 states reported 10,972,770 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 49 states reported 1,407,802 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending August 8, Hawaii observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 19.8% followed by Puerto Rico (19.2), Nevada (17.3), California (16.1), New York (15.4), Connecticut (13.6), Louisiana (13.5), the Virgin Islands (12.8), Georgia (12.6), and Massachusetts (12.2).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 15 were in New Jersey (+11,580), Florida (+11,190), New York (+9,879), Texas (+9,096), and Tennessee (+3,793), while the largest decreases were in California (-12,155), Nevada (-6,817), Georgia (-4,236), Puerto Rico (-2,864), and Pennsylvania (-1,510).


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