Initial jobless claims increased by 742,000 for the week ending Nov. 14 as the pandemic intensified and lockdowns spread across the economy. Continuing claims increased to 6.37 million, while 20.3 million people remain on some form of unemployment insurance, according to Labor Department data released on Thursday.
The risk to the near-term economic outlook is rising.
Given the exhaustion of unemployment insurance that has already affected millions of Americans and the looming expiration of more federal benefits on Dec. 31, it is clear that the risk to the near-term economic outlook is rising, which points to further displacement of service-sector employees and disinflation. The data all imply that another round of fiscal aid is absolutely necessary in the near term.
For the week ending Nov. 14, there were 320,237 first-time claims for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, up from 296,374 previously. The insured unemployment rate declined to 4.35% from 4.6% last week.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Oct. 31 were in California (8.3%), Hawaii (8.3%), New Mexico (8.0%), Nevada (7.6%), Georgia (6.5%), Pennsylvania (6.4%), Alaska (6.2%), Massachusetts (6.2%), District of Columbia (6.0%) and Illinois (5.7%).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Nov. 7 were in Washington (up 7,683), California (5,293), Massachusetts (3,383), Alabama (1,704) and Louisiana (1,626). The largest decreases were in Georgia (down 13,426), Illinois (6,357), Kentucky (4,830), Texas (3,934) and New Jersey (3,725).
For more information on how the coronavirus is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.