Jobless Claims Fall in Week Ending April 23, 2022

New claims drop 2.7% from prior week; continuing claims still lowest since 1970

Initial claims for unemployment insurance across the U.S. were 180,000 for the week ending April 23, 2022, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This was down by 5,000 (2.7%) from the revised figure for the prior week. The number for the previous week was revised upward by 0.5%, from 184,000 to 185,000. The four-week moving average for initial claims was 179,750, up by 2,250 (1.3%) from the revised figure for the prior week (revised from 177,250 to 177,500).

The initial claims figure of 180,000 for the week ending April 23 was equal to the consensus estimate.

Key Takeaways

  • Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week ending April 23, 2022, fell by 2.7% from the prior week.
  • Continuing claims dropped slightly and are at their lowest level since Feb. 7, 1970.
  • The new claims figure equaled the consensus estimate.

Continuing Claims Decline

Unemployment insurance continuing claims fell, although compilation of this data lags new claims by one week. For the week ending April 16, 2022, the number of continuing claims, also called the number of insured unemployed persons, was 1,408,000, a decrease of 1,000 (0.1%) from the revised figure of 1,409,000 (revised down from 1,417,000) for the prior week, on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since Feb. 7, 1970, when it was 1,397,000.

The four-week moving average for continuing claims fell by 24,500 (1.7%) from the revised figure for the prior week to 1,455,000. The previous week's moving average was revised down by 2,250 (0.2%), from 1,481,750 to 1,479,500. This moving average is at its lowest level since March 14, 1970, when it was 1,435,250.

Adjusted vs. Unadjusted Data

The seasonally adjusted nationwide initial claims figure of 180,000 cited above for the week ending April 23, 2022, was derived from an unadjusted figure of 202,983. The unadjusted figure rose by 5,005 (2.5%) from 197,978 in the prior week. However, the normal seasonal factors observed at this time of year should have led to a decrease of 10,371 (5.2%) from the prior week to 208,349 in the week ending April 23, 2022, all else equal. During the comparable week in 2021, there were 611,236 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, 27 reported declines in new claims for the week ending April 23, 2022, while 26 reported increases. As indicated above, total unadjusted claims rose by 5,005 for this week.

The biggest declines in unadjusted new claims were in Ohio (-2,744), California (-2,083), and Michigan (-1,992). The largest increases were in New York (+4,821), Massachusetts (+3,411), Indiana (+1,345), and Connecticut (+1,040).

The breakdown by state for the week ending April 23, 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 23, 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 16, 2022. The largest increases in initial claims for that week, compared to the week before that, were in  Connecticut (+1,391), New Jersey (+1,116), Rhode Island (+368), Montana (+340), and Maryland (+147), while the largest decreases were in Missouri (-7,498), Michigan (-3,509), New York (-2,956), Ohio (-2,902), and Texas (-2,330).

Highest Insured Unemployment Rates

Meanwhile, the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending April 9, 2022, were in California (2.2%), New Jersey (2.2%), Alaska (1.9%), Minnesota (1.8%), New York (1.6%), Rhode Island (1.6%), Illinois (1.5%), Massachusetts (1.5%), Pennsylvania (1.3%), and Puerto Rico (1.3%).

The advance seasonally adjusted national figure for the week ending April 16, 2022, was 1.0%, unchanged from the unrevised figure 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 9, 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 28, 2022," Pages 1-2.

  2. Investing.com. "U.S. Initial Jobless Claims."

  3. MarketWatch. "MW Forecast: Jobless Claims Estimated to Reach 180,000 in the Week Ending 04/23. Data Coming in 30 Minutes."

  4. U.S. Department of Labor. "News Release: Unemployment Weekly Claims, April 28, 2022," Pages 3-5.

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

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