U.S. unemployment claims increased for the week ended November 21

November 27,2020

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, increased by 30,000 to 778,000 for the week ending November 21 from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised from 742,000 to 748,000 up by 6,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 748,500, an increase of 5,000. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised up by 1,500 from 742,000 to 743,500.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 4.1% for the week ending November 14, a 0.2 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 November 14 was 6,071,000, a decrease of 299,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 2,000 from 6,372,000 to 6,370,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 438,000 to 6,615,250. Notably, there was an upward revision in the preceding week’s average down by 1,250 from 7,054,500 to 7,053,250.


Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 827,710 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending November 21, an increase of 78,372 (or 10.5%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors anticipated an increase of 48,360 (or 6.5%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending November 21, 51 states observed 311,675 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending November 14, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 4.0%, a 0.1 percentage point decline relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 167,617 (or -2.8%) to 5,911,965 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had anticipated a rise of 131,883 (or 2.2%) from the previous week.


A total of 20,452,223 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended November 7, an increase of 135,297 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending November 7, were accessible in the following 36 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.

For the week ending the 14 of November, 2,436 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decline of 114 relative to the previous week, whereas, 754 newly discharged veterans (-145) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 7th of November, 13,539 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decrease of 2 relative to the previous week, whereas 11,201 newly discharged veterans (-693) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending November 7, 50 states reported 9,147,753 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 4,509,284 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

In the week ending November 7, California observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 7.9% followed by Hawaii (7.1), Nevada (6.9), the Virgin Islands (6.9), Alaska (6.3), Massachusetts (6.1), Illinois (5.9), Georgia (5.8), District of Columbia (5.6), and New Mexico (5.5).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending November 14 were in Louisiana (+33,573), Massachusetts (+9,859), Texas (+5,216), Kentucky (+3,770), and Minnesota (+3,608), while the largest decreases were in Illinois  (-20,581), Washington (-8,904), New Jersey (-7,990), Florida (-7,045), and Georgia (-4,201).



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