Economists' Outlook

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Continuous Improvements in the Job Market; Fewer Than 1.5 Million New Unemployment Claims

Tracking Jobless claims by state: week ending June 27

With significant improvements in the job market, employment grew by 4.8 million new jobs in June. In the meantime, new unemployment claims continue to rise more slowly as some people return to work. Specifically, in the week ending June 27, seasonally adjusted new claims were 1,427,000 a decrease of 55,000 from the previous week's revised level. Moreover, continued claims, which show how many Americans received unemployment benefits, are still fewer than 20 million (19.3 million) in the week ending June 20, although they increased by 59,000 from the previous week's revised level. As the data shows, there is a steady decline in job losses from the COVID.

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 27. Oklahoma, Florida, and Maryland were the states with the highest decline in new unemployment claims compared to the previous week. Specifically, the number of new claims dropped by 41,933 in Oklahoma; 11,075 in Florida; 10,620 in Maryland.

However, unadjusted advance claims increased in Indiana, Michigan, and Washington. Particularly, the number of advance claims increased by 24,033 claims in Indiana; 17,671 in Michigan; and 8,110 in Washington.  

Taking a closer look at the percentage change of the last week’s new claims with the new claims of the previous week, Oklahoma (-72%) had the largest drop in layoffs followed by South Dakota (-37%) and Oregon (-36%). In contrast, in Wyoming, layoffs increased 137% from the previous week followed by Michigan (90%) and Indiana (82%).

Additionally, the current release provides information about people filing new and total Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Among 46 states, 12.9 million people received benefits in the week ending on June 13 using the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Nearly 1.8 million more people claimed to receive PUA benefits compared to a week earlier. Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Ohio had the most people receiving PUA benefits.  Specifically, 65% of the labor force in Arizona received PUA benefits in the week ending June 13 followed by Pennsylvania (30%) and Ohio (21%).

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

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