The Labor Department said first-time jobless claims fell to the lowest level for initial claims since December 6, 1969 for the week ending April 21. There were a seasonally adjusted 209,000 initial applications for state unemployment benefits, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised level and the lowest since they were 202,000.
The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 232,000 to 233,000. While extended benefits were payable in the Virgin Islands during the week ending April 7 and procedures in Puerto Rico and in the Virgin Islands have still not returned to normal, the report bodes very well for the monthly jobs report.
The 4-week moving average fell by 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average, which was revised up by 250 from 231,250 to 231,500.
Lagging Claims Data
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3% for the week ending April 14, unchanged from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 14 was 1,837,000, a drop of 29,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up 3,000 from 1,863,000 to 1,866,000.
Lagging claims data also made history.
The 4-week moving average was 1,849,750, a decrease of 9,750 from the previous week’s revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 5, 1974 when it was 1,838,500. The previous week’s average was revised up by 750 from 1,858,750 to 1,859,500.
Unemployment Insurance Rates By State
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending April 7 were in the Virgin Islands (5.3), Alaska (3.1), New Jersey (2.7), Connecticut (2.4), Puerto Rico (2.4), California (2.2), Massachusetts (2.1), Pennsylvania (2.1), Illinois (2.0), Montana (2.0), and Rhode Island (2.0).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 14 were in New York (+15,397), California (+3,954), Connecticut (+2,268), Kentucky (+282), and Utah (+66), while the largest decreases were in New Jersey (-5,902), Pennsylvania (-2,731), Texas (-2,410), Ohio (-1,626), and Missouri (-1,120).