New U.S. Unemployment Insurance Claims Drop to 2.1 Million for the Week Ending May 23; Number of Insured Unemployed Decline

For the week that ended on May 23, 2020, 2,123,000 workers filed unemployment insurance (UI) claims. This is the eighth week that initial weekly claims have declined from the previous week. Initial claims averaged a week-to-week decrease of 13.5% since April 4th. The highest initial claims were recorded the week ending March 28 when they reached 6,867,000. In the last ten weeks, we have seen 40.8 million initial claims.

Texas reported 128,105 UI claims for the week ending May 23. The highest number of claims occurred during the week ending April 4 when they reached a record 315,167 claims.  A total of 2,203,538 initial claims have been filed over the last ten weeks in Texas. (Note that while the national data are seasonally adjusted, the Texas data are not.)

For the week ending May 16, the seasonally adjusted number of insured unemployed workers (the number of unemployed workers who are receiving unemployment benefits) was 21,052,000. This was a decline of 3,860,000 workers from the previous week. The associated insured unemployment rate was 14.5% (the percentage of workers covered by unemployment insurance who are receiving benefits). This was a decrease from the previous week’s revised insured unemployment rate of 17.1%.
The map below presents the states’ not-seasonally-adjusted initial UI claims for the week ending May 23. California had the highest number of new claims at 212,343 or 11.1% of the total 1,914,958  unadjusted claims. California’s claims were down 13.1% from the previous week. New York’s 192,193 claims were second highest and were 14.2% lower than the previous week. Florida had the third highest claims at 173,731, down 22.9% from the previous week.  Georgia’s 164,350 claims were fourth highest, a decrease of 7.5% from the previous week. Representing 6.7% of the national total, Texas’ 128,105 claims were fifth highest and were 4.4% lower than the previous week. Across all states and U.S. Territories, unadjusted initial claims were down 12.2% from the prior week. (Click on any state in the figure below to see the number of initial claims, the share of total claims and the percent increase in claims.)


Posted: May 29, 2020 by Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier