Weekly Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits Hold at a Low Level

Weekly Initial Claims for Unemployment Benefits Hold at a Low Level

Initial claims for regular state unemployment insurance were unchanged in the latest week, coming in at 205,000 (see first chart). The latest result is the third consecutive week below the average of January and February 2020, before the government shutdowns.

The four-week average rose slightly in the latest week – the first increase since October 10 – coming in at 206,250, a rise of 2,750. Despite the increase, the data suggest the labor market remains extremely tight.

The number of ongoing claims for state unemployment programs totaled 1.730 million for the week ending December 4, a drop of 230,448 from the prior week (see second chart). State continuing claims have been below 2 million for eight consecutive weeks.

Continuing claims in all federal programs totaled just…

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