Economists' Outlook

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1.3 Million New Unemployment Claims While People Receiving Benefits Eased to 18 Million

Tracking Jobless claims by state: week ending July 4

Employment continues to show significant improvements as more people return to work. In the week ending July 4, new unemployment claims decreased to 1.3 million, a decrease of 99,000 from the previous week's revised level. In the meantime, continued claims, which show how many Americans received unemployment benefits, fell sharply to 18 million - a decrease of 698,000 from the previous week's revised level. As the data shows, there is a gradual decline in job losses from the COVID-19.

The National Association of REALTORS® closely monitors the weekly claims for unemployment insurance provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Since this data is also released for each state, we track the jobless claims activity at the state level. This state-level data report is a very important indicator to watch at economic turning points because it provides detail on what’s happening week by week, rather than each month or quarter.

Twenty-nine states reported a decrease in new claims for the week ending July 4. Indiana, Florida, and Georgia were the states with the highest decline in new unemployment claims compared to the previous week. Specifically, the number of new claims dropped by 20,741 in Indiana; 17,300 in Florida; and 13,895 in Georgia.

However, unadjusted advance claims increased in Texas, New Jersey, and Louisiana. Particularly, the number of advance claims increased by 20,651 claims in Texas; 18,719 in New Jersey; and 9,931 in Louisiana.

Taking a closer look at the percentage change of the last week’s new claims with the new claims of the previous week, Oklahoma (-59%) had the largest drop in layoffs followed by Indiana (-46%) and Kentucky (-25%). In contrast, in New Jersey, layoffs increased 67% from the previous week followed by Nebraska (46%) and Nevada (46%).

Moreover, the current release provides information about people filing new and total Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Among 46 states, 14.3 million people received benefits in the week ending on June 20 using the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Nearly 1.5 million more people claimed to receive PUA benefits compared to a week earlier. Arizona, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania had the most people receiving PUA benefits. Specifically, 56% of the labor force in Arizona received PUA benefits in the week ending June 20 followed by Mississippi (45%) and Pennsylvania (41%).

The map below shows you the percentage change of layoffs for each state. Click on the graph below the map to see how many layoffs occurred every week within the last year.

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