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Weekly initial jobless claims totaled 1.48 million in the week ending June 20 and continuing claims, which lags initial jobless claims by one week, declined by 767,000 to 19.52 million in the week ending June 13. The data indicate that the labor market is gradually recovering from the COVID-19 crisis as workers return to work, albeit slowly, and a full recovery of labor market may take a while.

The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending June 20. The number of initial jobless claims declined slightly by 60,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 1,480,000, compared to the revised previous week’s claims of 1,540,000. It marks the 12th straight decline in initial claims after it jumped to 6.9 million during the week of March 28. The four-week moving average decreased to 1,620,750, from a revised average of 1,781,500 in the previous week. Weekly new claims brought the 14th week’s total to 47.3 million.

Meanwhile, the number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment, known as continuing claims, declined by 767,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 19,522,000 in the week ending June 13. It is the first week that continuing claims fell below 20 million since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The four-week moving average was 20,421,250, a decrease of 329,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate declined by 0.5 percentage point to 13.4% for the week ending June 13. The previous week’s rate was revised down by 0.2 percentage point from 14.1% to 13.9%.

The U.S. Department of Labor also released the advanced number of actual initial claims under state programs without seasonal adjustments. The unadjusted number of advanced initial claims totaled 1,457,373 in the week ending June 20, a decrease of 5,990 from the previous week.

The chart below presents the top 10 states ranked by the number of advanced initial claims for the week ending June 20. California, Georgia and Florida had the most advanced initial claims. California led the way with 287,354 initial claims, followed by Georgia with 124,283 initial claims and Florida with 93,394 initial claims. Meanwhile, it is the fourth straight week that South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming had the least advanced initial claims across all the states.

Compared to the previous week, California, Maryland and Indiana had the largest increases in advanced initial claims for the week ending June 20. California reported an increase of 45,930 advanced initial claims, much larger than other states. Maryland increased by 8,494 and Indiana increased by 7,868. Oklahoma (-35,571), Kentucky (-13,022) and Oregon (-8,908) had the largest decreases in advanced initial claims.