Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

New Unemployment Claims Increased to 1.4 Million Last Week

Tracking jobless claims by state: week ending July 25

Layoffs are still happening with 1.4 million new filers for unemployment insurance, a slight increase of 12,000 from the prior week. This seems to be because of the re-closing of business activity in some states (such as no indoor dining). Cumulatively, from the start of the lockdown in mid-March to the latest week, there have been 54.1 million Americans who have been laid off. However, there were far fewer with 17 million people receiving unemployment checks in the latest week.

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.

Forty-two states reported a decrease in new claims for the week ending July 25. California, Georgia, and Florida were the states with the highest decline in new unemployment claims compared to the previous week. The number of new claims dropped by 40,587 in California; 37,732 in Georgia; 21,914 in Florida.

However, unadjusted advance claims increased in Virginia, Nevada, and Indiana. Specifically, the number of advance claims increased by 8,578 claims in Virginia; 6,125 in Nevada; and 2,698 in Indiana.

Taking a closer look at the percentage change of the last week’s new claims with the new claims of the previous week, Wyoming (-47%) had the largest drop in layoffs followed by Louisiana (-45%) and North Dakota (-31%). In contrast, in Nevada, layoffs increased 39% from the previous week followed by Virginia (23%) and Kansas (16%).

Moreover, the current release provides information about people filing new and total Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). Among 46 states, 12.4 million people received benefits in the week ending July 11 using the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Nearly 770,000 fewer people claimed to receive PUA benefits compared to a week earlier. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Maryland had the most people receiving PUA benefits. Specifically, 49% of the labor force in Pennsylvania received PUA benefits in the week ending July 11 followed by Michigan (18%) and Maryland (15%).

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. 

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