The claims below represent the weekly unemployment insurance (UI) claims reported by each state’s unemployment insurance program offices. These claims may be used for monitoring workload volume, assessing state program operations and for assessing labor market conditions. States initially report claims directly taken by the state liable for the benefit payments, regardless of where the claimant who filed the claim resided. These are the basis for the advance initial claims and continued claims reported each week. These data come from ETA 538, Advance Weekly Initial and Continued Claims Report. The following week initial claims and continued claims are revised based on a second reporting by states that reflect the claimants by state of residence. These data come from the ETA 539, Weekly Claims and Extended Benefits Trigger Data Report.
An initial claim is a claim filed by an unemployed individual after a separation from an employer. The claimant requests a determination of basic eligibility for the UI program. When an initial claim is filed with a state, certain programmatic activities take place and these result in activity counts including the count of initial claims. The count of U.S. initial claims for unemployment insurance is a leading economic indicator because it is an indication of emerging labor market conditions in the country. However, these are weekly administrative data which are difficult to seasonally adjust, making the series subject to some volatility.