U.S. unemployment claims dipped for the week ended September 12

September 18, 2020

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, decreased by 33,000 to 860,000 for the week ending September 12 from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised from 884,000 to 893,000 up by 9,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 912,000, a decline of 61,000. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised up by 2,250 from 970,750 to 973,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 8.6% for the week ending September 5, 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 September 5 was 12,628,000, a decrease of 916,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 159,000 from 13,385,000 to 13,544,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 532,750 to 13,489,000. Notably, there was an upward revision in the preceding week’s average by 39,750 from 13,982,000 to 14,021,750.


Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 790,021 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending September 12, a decrease of 75,974 (or -8.8%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending September 12, 52 states observed 658,737 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending September 5, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 8.4%, a 0.7 percentage point decline relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 1,034,052 (or -7.7%) to 12,321,395 from a week earlier.

A total of 29,768,326 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended August 29, an increase of 98,456 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending August 29, were accessible in the following 51 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, 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, Utah, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

For the week ending the 5th of September, 953 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 85 relative to the previous week, whereas 885 newly discharged veterans (-29) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 29th of August, 13,544 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decrease of 97 relative to the previous week, whereas 13,977 newly discharged veterans (+964) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending August 29, 50 states reported 14,467,064 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 49 states reported 1,527,166 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending August 29, Hawaii observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 20.3% followed by California (17.3), Nevada (15.6), New York (15.0), Puerto Rico (14.1), Louisiana (13.6), Connecticut (11.9), Georgia (11.9), District of Columbia (11.3), and Massachusetts (11.0).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending September 5 were California (+23,841), Texas (+8,618), Louisiana (+8,375), New Jersey (+2,402), and Washington (+2,173), while the largest decreases were in Kentucky (-7,219), Florida (-5,334), Pennsylvania (-2,257), Kansas (-1,915), and Michigan (-994).

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