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Initial Unemployment Claims Drop to the Lowest Number Since September 1969

Unemployment claims for the week ending December 4, fell to 184,000, the lowest levesince 1969. However, continued claims are still above the pre-pandemic level.
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Initial State Unemployment Claims  2021-12-04

Initial Unemployment Claims Notes 

  • Initial claims for the week ending December 4, 2021 were 184,000. That's the lowest level since 182,000 for the week ending September 6, 1969 at 182,000.
  • The record low is November 30, 1968 at 162,000. 
  • These numbers are not population adjusted making the current low all the more remarkable. 

Unfortunately Covid-19 spike in 2020 makes the scale on the chart hard to read. We can remedy that by excluding data starting February 2020.

Initial Claims Jan 1967 Through Jan 2020

Initial Claims Jan 1967 Through Jan 2020

Pandemic Exclusion Notes

  • Excluding the pandemic years, the lowest monthly average was 181,200 in May of 1969.
  • A spike in claims tends to precede recessions but delays are often lengthy.

Continued Claims 

Continued State Unemployment Claims  2021-12-04
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4-Week Moving Average of Continued Claims

4-Week Moving Average Continued Claims 2021-12-04

Continued Claims Notes

  • Continued Claims at 1,954,000 are above the pre-pandemic level of 1,708,000
  • Continued Claims 4-week moving average of at 2,081,750 is above the pre-pandemic level of 1,719,250.

Continued claims are the official counts of people receiving unemployment benefits.

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