Jobless Claims Down in Week Ending April 16, 2022

New claims decrease by 1.1% from prior week, continuing claims drop by 3.9%

Initial claims for unemployment insurance across the U.S. were 184,000 for the week ending April 16, 2022, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was down by 2,000 (1.1%) from the revised figure for the prior week. The number for the previous week was revised upward by 0.5%, from 185,000 to 186,000. The four-week moving average for initial claims was 177,250, up by 4,500 (2.6%) from the revised figure for the prior week (revised from 170,250 to 170,750).

The initial claims figure of 184,000 for the week ending April 16 was 1.1% above the consensus estimate of 182,000, per economists polled by Dow Jones. Although the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.6%, there are 408,000 fewer Americans working than in February 2020, before the pandemic hit. The labor market also is smaller by 174,000.

Key Takeaways

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week ending April 16, 2022, fell by 1.1% from the prior week.
  • Continuing claims dropped by 3.9% and are at their lowest level since Feb. 21, 1970.
  • The new claims figure was 1.1% above economists' estimates.

Continuing Claims Decline

Unemployment insurance continuing claims fell, although compilation of this data lags new claims by one week. For the week ending April 9, 2022, the number of continuing claims, also called the number of insured unemployed persons, was 1,417,000, a decrease of 58,000 (3.2%) from the unrevised figure of 1,475,000 for the prior week, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since Feb. 21, 1970, when it was 1,412,000.

The four-week moving average for continuing claims fell by 31,250 (2.1%) from the revised figure for the prior week to 1,481,750. The previous week's moving average was revised up by 1,500 (0.1%), from 1,511,500 to 1,513,000. This moving average is at its lowest level since March 21, 1970, when it was 1,456,750.

Adjusted vs. Unadjusted Data

The seasonally adjusted nationwide initial claims figure of 184,000 cited above for the week ending April 16, 2022, was derived from an unadjusted figure of 196,897. The unadjusted figure fell by 27,235 (12.2%) from 224,132 in the prior week. However, the normal seasonal factors observed at this time of year should have led to a decrease of 24,800 (11.1%) from the prior week to 199,332 in the week ending April 16, 2022, all else equal. During the comparable week in 2021, there were 583,397 initial claims.

Initial Jobless Claims by State

Note that the statistics compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor also include the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, in addition to the 50 states. Of these, 40 reported declines in new claims for the week ending April 16, 2022, while 13 reported increases. As indicated above, total unadjusted claims fell by 27.235 for this week.

The biggest declines in unadjusted new claims were in Missouri (-7,656), Michigan (-3,681), Ohio (-3,095), New York (-2,893), Texas (-2,442), Illinois (-1,695), Florida (-1,173), and Pennsylvania (-1,093). The largest increases were in Connecticut (+1,399) and New Jersey (+1,013).

The breakdown by state for the week ending April 16, 2022, contains advance claims that are reported by the state liable for paying the unemployment compensation. Data for previous weeks classify claimants by state of residence. Thus, the state-by-state figures for the week ending April 16, 2022, and for prior weeks, are not completely comparable.

For comparable figures, the Department of Labor instead looks at the data for a week earlier, which ended April 9, 2022. The largest increases in initial claims for that week, compared to the week before that, were in Missouri (+7,194), Michigan (+5,950), California (+3,215), Indiana (+3,193), and Texas (+2,617), while the largest decreases were in Ohio (-3,886), Wisconsin (-1,159), Oklahoma (-776), Utah (-270), and Hawaii (-219).

Highest Insured Unemployment Rates

Meanwhile, the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending April 2, 2022, were in New Jersey (2.3%), California (2.2%), Alaska (2.0%), Minnesota (2.0%), Illinois (1.7%), Massachusetts (1.7%), New York (1.7%), Rhode Island (1.7%), Pennsylvania (1.5%), and the Virgin Islands (1.5%).

The advance seasonally adjusted national figure for the week ending April 9, 2022, was 1.0%, down from the unrevised figure of 1.1% for the prior week. The insured unemployment rate is the ratio of persons receiving unemployment benefits to the total number of persons in the labor force.

During the week ending April 2, 2022, extended unemployment benefits were available in New Jersey.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Department of Labor. "News Release: Unemployment Weekly Claims, April 21, 2022," Pages 1-2.

  2. CNBC. "Weekly Jobless Claims Total 184,000, Just Above Expectations in Tight Labor Market."

  3. U.S. Department of Labor. "News Release: Unemployment Weekly Claims, April 21, 2022," Pages 3-5.

  4. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. "Labor Market Slack and the Insured Unemployment Rate."

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