U.S. unemployment claims increased for the week ended March 13

March 19, 2021

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, increased by 45,000 to 770,000, for the week ending March 13, from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised up from 712,000 to 725,000 by 13,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 746,250, a decline of 16,000. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised up by 3,250 from 759,000 to 762,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 3.0% for the week ending March 6, a rise of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s unrevised rate.  Moreover, DOL stated that, “the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 6 was 4,124,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 4,144,000 to 4,142,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 99,000 to 4,255,500. The prior week’s average was revised down by 500 from 4,355,000 to 4,354,500.


Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 746,496 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending March 13, a rise of 24,318 (or 3.4%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors anticipated a fall of 20,961 (or -2.9%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending March 13, 53 states observed 282,394 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending March 6, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate stood unchanged at 3.2% relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number of persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 95,541 (or -2.1%) to 4,486,389 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had anticipated a decrease of 77,947 (or -1.7%) from the previous week.

A total of 18,216,463 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended February 27, a decline of 1,902,005 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending February 27, were accessible in the following 17 states: Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, and the Virgin Islands.

For the week ending the 6th of March, 1,286 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 98 relative to the previous week, whereas 699 newly discharged veterans (-29) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 27th of February, 19,647 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a fall of 290 relative to the previous week, whereas 8,271 newly discharged veterans (-269) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending February 27, 51 states reported 7,615,386 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 4,815,348 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending February 27, Pennsylvania observed the highest insured unemployment rate of 6.1% followed by Alaska (5.6), Nevada (5.4), the Virgin Islands (5.1), Connecticut (5.0), New York (4.7), Rhode Island (4.5), Illinois (4.4), Massachusetts (4.4), and California (4.2).


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