First-time claims for unemployment benefits declined to 310,000 for the week ending Sept. 4, down from 345,000 the week before and well below the 13-week moving average of 377,000. Continuing claims increased to 2.783 million for the week ending Aug. 28.
Overall, those receiving some form of unemployment benefits stood at 11.9 million, according to government data released Thursday.
In the weeks ahead, seasonal hiring dynamics and the ending of federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance are expected to have an effect on initial claims for jobless benefits and on the overall number of those receiving some form of unemployment insurance.
The impact of Hurricane Ida did not have a material impact on first-time claims. While Louisiana reported an increase to 9,319 in first-time claims for the week, up from 2,060, both Alabama and Mississippi reported a decline.
We would expect that first-time jobless claims in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Connecticut will rise over the next two reporting weeks because of the flooding caused by the storm.
For the week ending Sept. 4, the number of new filings for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provided benefits to the self-employed, eased to 96,168 from 102,521.
For the week ending Aug. 21—the last reporting week available—there were 2.6 million people receiving regular state unemployment, 5.1 million on Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and 3.8 million on Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, another federal program that provided benefits to those who had exhausted their state benefits. Both PUA and PEUC have expired.
These numbers will all decline in the coming weeks as unemployment assistance put in place early in the pandemic are eased.
For more information on how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.