U.S. unemployment claims lower for the week ended August 8

August 14, 2020

The seasonally adjusted initial claims, advance estimate, fell to 963,000, a decrease of 228,000 for the week ending August 8 from the prior week’s revised level, according to the U.S. Department of Labour (DOL). The prior week’s level was revised to 1,191,000 from 1,186,000 up by 5,000. In comparison to the previous week’s average, the 4-week moving average was 1,252,750, a decrease of 86,250. Moreover, the preceding week’s average was revised up by 1,250 from 1,337,750 to 1,339,000.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 10.6% for the week ending August 1, a 0.4 percentage points decline from the prior week’s unrevised rate. Moreover, DOL stated that, “the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 1 was 15,486,000, a decrease of 604,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 17,000 from 16,107,000 to 16,090,000.” Relative to last week’s revised average, the 4-week moving average decreased by 454,500 to 16,169,500. Notably, there was a downward revision in the preceding week’s average by 4,250 from 16,628,250 to 16,624,000.



Based on the unadjusted advance estimate, there were 831,856 actual initial claims under state programs in the week ending August 8, a decline of 156,453 (or -15.8%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had anticipated a rise of 40,485 (or 4.1%) from the previous week. Furthermore, for the week ending August 8, 52 states observed 488,622 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

During the week ending August 1, the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 10.4%, a 0.4 percentage point decrease relative to the previous week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs fell by 624,684 (or -3.9%) to 15,207,671 from a week earlier. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 32,180 (or -0.2%) from the prior week.


A total of 28,257,995 persons claimed benefits in all programs for the week ended July 25, a decrease of 3,065,616 compared to the prior week.

Extended Benefits, during the week ending July 25, were accessible in the following 52 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, 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, Vermont, the Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

For the week ending the 1st of August, 1,118 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decrease of 285 relative to the previous week, whereas 902 newly discharged veterans (-127) claimed for benefits.

However, for the week ending the 25th of July, 15,061 former Federal civilian employees claimed for UI benefits, a decrease of 1,109 relative to the previous week, whereas 14,225 newly discharged veterans (-2,046) claimed for benefits.

DOL noted that, “during the week ending Jul 25, 49 states reported 10,723,396 individuals claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 49 states reported 1,224,443 individuals claiming Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.”

In the week ending July 25, Nevada observed the highest insured unemployment rates of 23.6% followed by Hawaii (21.1), Puerto Rico (19.1), Louisiana (17.3), New York (16.5), California (16.0), Connecticut (15.3), Georgia (14.4), Massachusetts (14.3), and Rhode Island (12.7).

The state that experienced the highest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 1 was Rhode Island (+87), while the largest decreases were in California (-22,610), Virginia (-19,048), Texas (-14,095), Florida (-13,176), and New Jersey (-11,489).

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