U.S. unemployment claims increased for the week ended January 9

January 14, 2021

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, increased by 181,000 to 965,000 for the week ending January 9, from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised from 787,000 to 784,000 down by 3,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 834,250, a rise of 18,250. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised down by 2,750 from 818,750 to 816,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 3.7% for the week ending January 2, up 0.2 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate.  Moreover, DOL stated that, “advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending January 2 was 5,271,000, an increase of 199,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 5,072,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 59,000 to 5,215,750.



Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 1,151,015 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending January 9, a rise of 231,335 (or 25.2%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors anticipated an increase of 131,769 (or 14.3%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending January 9, 45 states observed 284,470 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending January 2, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate rose 0.4 percentage point to 4.1% relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs rose by 474,180 (or 8.8%) to 5,856,230 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had anticipated an increase of 274,958 (or 5.1%) from the previous week.


A total of 18,406,940 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended December 26, a decline of 744,511 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending December 26, were accessible in the following 23 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 2nd of January, 2,008 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a rise of 236 relative to the previous week, whereas 1,060 newly discharged veterans (+325) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 26th of December, 16,873 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, an increase of 101 relative to the previous week, whereas 9,500 newly discharged veterans (+406) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “the week ending December 26, 49 states reported 7,442,888 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 50 states reported 4,166,261 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending December 26, Pennsylvania observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 6.6% followed by Alaska (6.5), Kansas (6.4), New Mexico (5.9), Illinois (5.6), Washington (5.6), Nevada (5.5), the Virgin Islands (5.3), Minnesota (5.2), and California (5.0).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 26 were Louisiana (+17,119), Kansas (+15,400), Texas (+14,541), Georgia (+12,498), and Washington (+10,950), while the largest decreases were in Illinois (-65,099), California (-7,743), Maryland (-2,088), and Florida (-1,836).


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