Unemployment Insurance Claims Down Another 29,000
(Chart courtesy Labor Department.)
Initial claims for unemployment insurance fell by 29,000 last week, moving closer to pre-pandemic levels, the Labor Department said Thursday.
For the week ending August 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims fell to 348,000, a decrease of 29,000 from the previous week’s revised level to the lowest level for initial claims since March 14, 2020, when it was 256,000. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 375,000 to 377,000. The four-week moving average fell to 377,750, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised average to the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020, when it was 225,500.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.1 percent for the week ending August 7. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 7 fell to 2,820,000, a decrease of 79,000 from the previous week’s revised level to the lowest level for insured unemployment since March 14, 2020, when it was 1,770,000. The previous week’s level revised up 33,000 from 2,866,000 to 2,899,000. The four-week moving average fell to 2,998,750, a decrease of 110,500 from the previous week’s revised average to the lowest level for this average since March 21, 2020, when it was 2,071,750.
“After several months of declines, the level of jobless claims essentially plateaued through June and July,” said Tim Quinlan, Senior Economist with Wells Fargo Economics, Charlotte, N.C. “Some slowing was to be expected as the level of initial claims approached their pre-pandemic trend, and if anything, the labor market recovery has heated up with the number of net new jobs nearing a million in each of the past two months. That said, the waning contribution is a reminder that incremental gains could be hard to come by as the economy approaches a more normal level of activity.”
Labor said the advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 308,574 for the week ending August 14, a decrease of 14,469 (4.5 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected an increase of 14,901 (4.6 percent) from the previous week. Labor reported 879,545 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. In addition, for the week ending August 14, 44 states reported 109,379 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.
The report said the advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate fell to 2.0 percent during the week ending August 7, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted level of insured unemployment in state programs totaled 2,763,782, a decrease of 86,599 (3.0 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 8,229 (0.3 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 9.7 percent and the volume was 14,155,552.
The report said the total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending July 31 was 11,743,515, a decrease of 311,787 from the previous week. Labor reported 28,676,558 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2020.