Jobless Claims Drop After Last Week’s Spike

Initial jobless claims are the number of unemployment insurance claims filed in the past week.
Anna Helhoski
By Anna Helhoski 
Updated
Edited by Laura McMullen

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Updated on June 20.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 5,000 in the week ending June 15, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The weekly jobless claims, or initial claims, are the number of unemployment insurance claims filed in the past week. They provide an indicator of the strength — or weakness — of the labor market.

Jobless claims decreased to 238,000 for the week ending June 15, according to the report released on June 20. Last week’s level was revised to 243,000. The claims still came in above what economists had estimated (235,000).

The new four-week moving average — a measurement of the number of people who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time over the last four weeks — was 232,750, which is 5,500 lower than the previous week’s revised average of 227,250.

What's the insured unemployment rate?

Not all types of unemployment are included as part of the insured unemployment rate. It only includes "covered unemployment," as in people who receive unemployment benefits. Those who quit their jobs, for example, aren't included in the insured unemployment rate because they aren't eligible for unemployment benefits.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate — the rate of continuous covered unemployment claims divided by covered employment — was 1.2% for the week ending June 8. The rate is unchanged from the unrevised rate for the previous week.

How are state labor markets doing?

States with the highest insured unemployment rates, week ending June 1:

  • New Jersey: 2.3%

  • California: 2.2%

  • Washington: 1.8%

  • Rhode Island: 1.6%

  • Illinois: 1.5%

  • Massachusetts: 1.5%

  • Minnesota: 1.5%

  • Nevada: 1.5%

  • New York: 1.5%

  • Pennsylvania: 1.5%

States with the largest increases in initial jobless claims, week ending June 8:

  • California: +9,793

  • Minnesota: +4,397

  • Pennsylvania: +4,131

  • Texas: +2,309

  •  Illinois: +2,265

States with the largest decreases in initial jobless claims, week ending June 8:

  • North Dakota: -746

  • Missouri: -508

  • Tennessee: -279 

  • Kansas: -245 

  • Idaho: -175

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