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The U.S. Department of Labor released the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report for the week ending April 18th. With the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of initial claims for unemployment insurance continued to rise, bringing the total jobless claims to more than 26 million over the past five weeks.

In the week ending April 18th, the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits, known as jobless claims, was at a seasonally adjusted level of 4,427,000, following a downward revised 5,237,000 claims in the previous week. The four-week moving average increased to 5,786,500, from a revised average of 5,506,500 in the previous week. After reaching a peak of 6.9 million in the week ending March 28th, the number of the weekly jobless claims is slowly declining, but still counted in the magnitude of millions. The five-week Jobless claims totaled over 26 million to an unprecedented level.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate jumped by 2.8 percentage points to 11.0% for the week ending April 11st. The number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment increased to 15,976,000 during the week ending April 11st, from a revised level of 11,912,000 in the previous week. It marks so far the highest level of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment in the history of the seasonally adjusted series.

The advance unadjusted number of actual initial claims under state programs, released by the U.S. Department of Labor, totaled 4,267,395 in the week ending April 18th, decreasing 14% from the precious week. The chart below presents the top 10 states ranked by the total number of actual initial claims over the past five weeks (from the week ending March 21st to the week ending April 18th). Similar to the previous week, California led the way with over 3.3 million job claims, followed by Pennsylvania (1.5 million) and New York (1.4 million). Also, the total jobless claims in Texas, Michigan, Florida and Georgia exceeded 1 million in the past five weeks. The number of jobless claims in these 10 states accounted for about 55% of the total number of jobless claims over the past four weeks, and also note that nine of these 10 states are ranked as the top ten most populated states in the country.