Unemployment Totaled 710,000 Week of Feb. 20; a Decrease of 111,000

In the week ending February 20, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 730,000, a decrease of 111,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 20,000 from 861,000 to 841,000. The four-week moving average was 807,750, a decrease of 20,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 5,000 from 833,250 to 828,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.1 percent for the week ending Feb. 13, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Feb. 13 was 4,419,000, a decrease of 101,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 26,000 from 4,494,000 to 4,520,000. The four-week moving average was 4,547,000, a decrease of 91,500 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,500 from 4,632,000 to 4,638,500.

UNADJUSTED DATA

The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 710,313 in the week ending Feb. 20, a decrease of 131,734 (or -15.6%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 21,100 (or -2.5%) from the previous week. There were 199,278 initial claims in the comparable week in 2020. In addition, for the week ending Feb. 20, 53 states reported 451,402 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.4% during the week ending Feb. 13, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted level of insured unemployment in state programs totaled 4,828,027, a decrease of 143,320 (or -2.9%) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 42,249 (or -0.8%) from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.4% and the volume was 2,061,669.

The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending Feb. 6 was 19,042,686, an increase of 701,102 from the previous week. There were 2,130,673 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2020.

During the week ending Feb. 6, Extended Benefits were available in the following 18 states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Texas, the Virgin Islands, and Washington.

Initial claims for UI benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 1,386 in the week ending February 13, a decrease of 274 from the prior week. There were 708 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 226 from the preceding week.

There were 18,820 continued weeks claimed filed by former Federal civilian employees the week ending February 6, a decrease of 609 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 9,071, an increase of 742 from the prior week.

During the week ending February 6, 51 states reported 7,518,951 continued weekly claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and 51 states reported 5,065,890 continued claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending February 6 were in Pennsylvania (6.5), the Virgin Islands (6.3), Rhode Island (6.2), Alaska (5.8), Nevada (5.8), Connecticut (5.2), New York (5.0), Illinois (4.8), Michigan (4.8), and New Mexico (4.8).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 13 were in Illinois (+28,110), Ohio (+6,563), Idaho (+4,764), Kansas (+1,744), and California (+1,664), while the largest decreases were in Maryland (-9,835), Rhode Island (-6,129), Georgia (-5,854), New Jersey (-4,630), and Texas (-4,234).