Weekly jobless claims inched even lower for the week ending Nov. 6, showing a 4,000 drop from the prior week’s revised level. With seasonally adjusted initial claims at 267,000, the levels are creeping closer to pre-pandemic levels. On March 14, 2020, the country saw jobless claims of 256,000. Levels began to rise from there as the pandemic caused shut-downs, furloughs and layoffs.
Four-week moving averages are also showing approvement and approaching pre-pandemic levels. The 4-week moving average for Nov. 6 is 278,000, a decrease of 7,250 from last week’s revised average. Again, this week’s average is the lowest since March 14, 2020, when it was 225,500.
Although this bodes well for economic recovery and Americans’ willingness to return to work, the advance insured unemployment rate for the week ending October 30, seasonally adjusted, sits at 1.6%, which is the same as the previous week’s unrevised rate, and an increase of 59,000 from the prior week’s revised rate. However, the 4-week moving average for seasonally adjusted advance insured unemployment has dropped to 2,245,000, the lowest level it has seen since March 21, 2020.
The number of continued weeks claimed for benefits also continues to drop. In late October 2020, there were 21,713,655 weekly claims filed. The number for the week ending Oct. 23, is just 2,565,853, according to the Department of Labor Weekly Job Claims report. This number dropped 107,095 from the previous week, but the change from 2020 is more noteworthy as it signifies a growing workforce from this time last year.
Places with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending Oct. 23 are Puerto Rico, California, District of Columbia, New Jersey, the Virgin Islands, Alaska, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada and Oregon. Extended unemployment benefits are still available in Alaska, Connecticut, New Jersey and New Mexico.
The weekly jobs report states that 253,593 people across 42 states are still claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, while 256,496 across 43 states have continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.
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