U.S. unemployment claims increased for the week ended December 5

December 10, 2020

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, increased by 137,000 to 853,000 for the week ending December 5, from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised from 712,000 to 716,000 up by 4,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 776,000, an increase of 35,500. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised up by 1,000 from 739,500 to 740,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 3.9% for the week ending November 28, a 0.1 percentage point increase from the prior week’s unrevised rate.  Moreover, DOL stated that, “advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 28 was 5,757,000, an increase of 230,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 7,000 from 5,520,000 to 5,527,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 260,250 to 5,935,750. Notably, there was an upward revision in the preceding week’s average up by 1,750 from 6,194,250 to 6,196,000.




Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 947,504 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending December 5, a rise of 228,982 (or 31.9%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors anticipated an increase of 92,333 (or 12.9%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending December 5, 52 states observed 427,609 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.


During the week ending November 28, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 3.9%, a 0.3 percentage point increase relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs rose by 533,336 (or 10.2%) to 5,780,893 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had anticipated a rise of 303,285 (or 5.8 %) from the previous week.


A total of 19,043,429 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended November 21, a decline of 1,120,049 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending November 21, were accessible in the following 33 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Washington, and West Virginia.

For the week ending the 28th of November, 1,933 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 873 relative to the previous week, whereas, 625 newly discharged veterans (-198) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 21st of November, 13,788 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 706 relative to the previous week, whereas 9,143 newly discharged veterans (-2,011) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending November 21, 51 states reported 8,555,763 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 4,532,876 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending November 21, Alaska observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 6.3% followed by California (6.3), New Mexico (6.1), Nevada (6.0), Hawaii (5.6), Massachusetts (5.1), District of Columbia (5.0), Illinois (5.0), Washington (4.7), and Georgia (4.6).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 28 were in Illinois (+8,535), Oregon (+5,461), Colorado (+1,905), Indiana (+1,746), and Louisiana (+1,735), while the largest decreases were in California (-37,803), Texas (-14,123), Michigan (-10,976), Georgia (-9,905), and Washington (-7,881).


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