As a result of the pandemic and resulting economic slowdown, increased attention has been paid to the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report produced by the Department of Labor. As we have been following these reports, our analysis below strings together the data available in these weekly reports since the start of the pandemic to show the changing situation across unemployment programs and across states. The data we use below is reported on a lag of two weeks relative to the report date.
Updated May 6, 2021:
- New claims to state programs for unemployment insurance (UI) decreased by roughly 17.5% to 504,670 claims (unadjusted) for the week ending May 1.
- The seasonally adjusted figure decreased by roughly 15.6% from last week’s revised figure to 498,000 new claims.
- 42 states and territories of the 53 included in the DOL’s report reported a decrease in new claims for the week of May 1. This is an increase from 39 in the previous weekly report.
- State programs reported a total of roughly 3.8 million people receiving UI for the week ending April 24 (reported on a one-week lag and without seasonal adjustment), a slight increase of 2,533 (roughly 0.1%) from the previous week.
- The seasonally adjusted figure increased by roughly 37,000 to roughly 3.7 million people.
- 31 states and territories of the 53 included in this report for the week of April 24 reported a decrease in continuing claims. This is two less than the previous weekly report.
- For the week ending April 17, the number of people receiving benefits from the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) decreased by 112,204 (-1.6%) to total roughly 6.9 million people. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) reported a decrease of 221,592 continuing claims (-4.3%) to total roughly 5.0 million people.
- Looking at the “Weekly Percentage Change” tab in the graphic below, the week of April 17, the most recent week with data for all programs, shows a decrease (green) in claims and continuing claims across both state and federal programs for the second week in a row.
This page will be updated periodically when the situation merits an update.