Jobless claims in the U.S. fell last week, a sign that the labor market could be cooling. Uncertainty remains, however, as data increases from revisions for the previous week could indicate the opposite.
The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment insurance claims was 228,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 246,000 (revised by +48,000), according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending April 1.
The report found that the four-week moving average was 237,750, a decrease of 4,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 242,000 (revised by +43,750). The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3% for the week ending March 25, unchanged from the revised rate of the previous week.
In addition, the DOL found that the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 25 was 1,823,000, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1,817,000 (revised by +128,000). This is the highest level for insured unemployment since December 11, 2021 when it was 1,833,000. The four-week moving average was 1,804,000, an increase of 10,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,793,500 (revised by +101,750). This is also the highest level for this average since November 13, 2021 when it was 2,007,000.
- The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 206,931, a decrease of 17,262 (-7.7%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 1,229 (-0.5%) from the previous week. There were 194,671 initial claims in the comparable week in 2022.
- The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 1.3% during the week ending March 25, unchanged from the week prior.
- The advance unadjusted level of insured unemployment in state programs totaled 1,845,171, a decrease of 32,139 (-1.7%) from the preceding week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 38,164 (-2%) from the previous week. A year earlier, the rate was 1.2% and the volume was 1,654,359.
Other key data points:
- The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending March 18 was 1,905,334, a decrease of 1,183 from the previous week. There were 1,728,353 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2022.
- No state was triggered “on” the Extended Benefits program during the week ending March 18.
- Initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits filed by former Federal civilian employees totaled 390 in the week ending March 25, an increase of 18 from the week prior. There were 328 initial claims filed by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 23 from the preceding week.
- There were 6,477 continued weeks claimed filed by former Federal civilian employees the week ending March 18, a decrease of 321 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 4,237, an increase of 285 from the prior week.
- The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 18 were in New Jersey (2.6), California (2.4), Rhode Island (2.4), Massachusetts (2.3), Minnesota (2.2), Alaska (1.9), Illinois (1.9), New York (1.9) and Montana (1.8).
- The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 25 were in Michigan (+4,536), Massachusetts (+2,733), California (+1,953), Texas (+1,810, and New York (+1,646), while the largest decreases were in Indiana (-2,559), Connecticut (-897), Tennessee (-663), Mississippi (-626) and Iowa (-615).
For the full report, including data tables, click here.