Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

1.5 Million New Unemployment claims; Job Losses Are Continuously Declining

Tracking jobless claims by state: week ending June 6

New unemployment claims continue to rise more slowly as some people return to work. Specifically, in the week ending June 6, seasonally adjusted new claims were 1,542,000, a decrease of 355,000 from the previous week's revised level. In the meantime, continued claims, which show how many Americans received unemployment benefits, also dropped to 20.9 million in the week ending May 30, a decrease of 339,000 from the previous week's revised level. As the data shows, there is a steady decline in job losses due to the COVID-19 virus.

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-seven states reported a decrease in new claims for the week ending June 6. Actually, in 15 of these states, new claims have declined for four weeks in a row. Florida, Texas, and Georgia were the states with the highest decline in new unemployment claims compared to the previous week. The number of new claims dropped by 97,187 in Florida; 16,941 in Texas; 14,452 in Georgia.

However, unadjusted advance claims increased in California, Massachusetts, and New York. Specifically, the number of advance claims increased by 29,426 claims in California; 17,102 in Massachusetts; and 12,422 in New York. 

Taking a closer look at the percentage change of the last week’s new claims with the new claims of the previous week, Maine (-73%) had the largest drop in layoffs followed by Florida (-47%) and South Dakota (-45%). In contrast, in Massachusetts, layoffs increased 62% from the previous week followed by Iowa (57%) and Minnesota (35%).

Moreover, the current release provides information about people filing new and total Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Among 40 states, 9.7 million people received benefits in the week ending on May 23 using the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Nearly 1.2 million fewer people claimed to receive PUA benefits compared to a week earlier. Michigan, Nevada, and Massachusetts had the most people receiving PUA benefits.  Specifically, 32% of the labor force in Michigan received PUA benefits in the week ending May 23 followed by Nevada (29%) and Massachusetts (26%).

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