The U.S. lost 10% of its workforce in only three weeks; Texas lost almost 6%!

For the second week in a row, seasonally adjusted initial Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims topped 6 million workers. For the week that ended on April 4, 2020, 6,606,000 filed UI claims. Last week’s revised count is 6,867,000 claims, and for the week ending on March 21, the revised number of initial claims is 3,307,000. In the last three weeks, we have seen over 16.7 million initial claims, a number which represents over 10% of nonfarm employment in the U.S.

In the state of Texas, the numbers for the last three weeks exhibit the same pattern. Texas’ Unemployment Insurance claims reached another record of 313,832 claims on April 4, 37,647 more claims than the revised figure for the week ending on March 28. The initial claims for the week ending March 21 totaled 155,426. These three weeks of claims were equal to 745,443 claims, almost 6% (5.7%) of the total nonfarm employed population in the state.  (Note that while the national data are seasonally adjusted, the Texas data are not.)

The map below presents the national not-seasonally-adjusted initial UI claims for the week ending April 4. California tops the list with 925,450 unadjusted initial claims, 14.9% of the total 5,823,917 unadjusted claims. With a 190% increase from the previous week, Georgia had the second highest amount of claims, totalling 388,175 in the week ending April 4. Michigan had the third highest number of claims at 384,844 claims, up 26% from the prior week's revised number of claims. (Click on any state to see the number of initial claims, the share of total claims and the percent increase in claims.)

Posted: April 09, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier