Unemployment claims down the first week of September

In the week ending Sept. 7, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 204,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 2,000 from 217,000 to 219,000. The 4-week moving average was 212,500, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 216,250 to 216,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.2 percent for the week ending August 31, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending August 31 was 1,670,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 12,000 from 1,662,000 to 1,674,000. The 4-week moving average was 1,680,250, a decrease of 14,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 3,000 from 1,691,750 to 1,694,750.

Unadjusted Data

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 159,282 in the week ending Sept. 7, a decrease of 20,232 (or -11.3 percent) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 9,183 (or -5.1 percent) from the previous week. There were 162,640 initial claims in the comparable week in 2018.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.0 percent during the week ending August 31, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 1,472,897, a decrease of 94,016 (or -6.0 percent) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 90,399 (or -5.8 percent) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.1 percent and the volume was 1,494,794.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending August 24 was 1,591,432, a decrease of 48,190 from the previous week. There were 1,624,726 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2018. No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending August 24. Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 567 in the week ending August 31, a decrease of 77 from the prior week. There were 478 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 32 from the preceding week.

There were 6,620 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending August 24, a decrease of 204 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 5,863, an increase of 266 from the prior week.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending August 24 were in New Jersey (2.4), Connecticut (2.1), Puerto Rico (2.0), Pennsylvania (1.9), Rhode Island (1.8), California (1.7), Massachusetts (1.6), Alaska (1.5), New York(1.5), Illinois (1.4), and the Virgin Islands (1.4).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 31 were in Illinois (+3,728), Kansas (+983), Wisconsin (+597), Michigan (+562), and Texas (+429), while the largest decreases were in New York (-1,424), Florida (-659), New Jersey (-643), Iowa (-330), and Connecticut (-317).