Unemployment Claims Over the Last Four Weeks Top 22 Million

For the fourth week in a row, millions of U.S. workers filed unemployment insurance (UI) claims. For the week that ended on April 11, 2020, 5,245,000 workers filed UI claims. The revised count for April 4 is 6,615,000 claims. For the weeks ending on March 28 and March 21, the number of initial claims were 6,867,000 and 3,307,000, respectively. In the last four weeks, we have seen over 22 million initial claims, a number which represents over 14.4% of nonfarm employment in the U.S. as of February.

In Texas, the numbers for the last four weeks exhibit the same pattern. Texas reported 273,567 UI claims for the week ending April 11 after reaching a record of 315,167 claims on April 4, 276,185 for the week ending on March 28, and 155,426 claims for the week ending on March 21. These four weeks had a total of 1,020,345 claims, or almost 8% (7.5%) of the total nonfarm employed population in the state as of February.  (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 11. While California tops the list with 660,966 unadjusted initial claims, or 13.29% of the total 4,971,823 unadjusted claims, it actually experienced a decrease in UI claims from April 4, down 28% from the revised count. With a 15% increase from the previous week, New York had the second highest amount of claims, totalling 395,949 in the week ending April 11, and 8% of the national total. Georgia had the third highest number of claims at 317,526 claims, down 19% 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 17, 2020 by Dennis W. Jansen, Carlos I. Navarro, Andrew J. Rettenmaier