Unemployment Insurance Claims Data

The Unemployment Insurance (UI) monthly claims data are used in current economic analysis of unemployment trends in the Nation and in each State.

Initial claims measure emerging unemployment and weeks paid measure the duration and severity of unemployment.

The Data:

  • UI Claims Data are available from the US Department of Labor Web site. Weekly data are available from 1987 to present (not seasonally adjusted) and monthly from 1971 to present (not seasonally adjusted). Data do not include special UI programs.
  • Unemployment Rates and Labor Force for California and Los Angeles are available from 1976 to present (seasonally adjusted and not seasonally adjusted) and all other areas from 1990 to present (not seasonally adjusted).
  • Click here to download seasonally adjusted data for California UI claims, 1978 to present.

Data and charts last updated: April 18, 2014



Graphical Display of California Change in UI Claims

March 2014
In March 2014, 245,061 initial unemployment insurance claims were filed and 1,933,840 total weeks were paid in California. Adjusting for seasonality 251,218 initial claims were filed and 1,898,971 weeks were paid.

Month over Changes
Initial claims decreased by 3,402 (1.3%) from February, seasonally adjusted. Weeks paid decreased by 13,805 (0.7%) from February, seasonally adjusted.

Year over Changes
Initial claims increased by 25,298 (11.5%) and weeks paid increased 716 (0.0%) from March 2013. Note: Year over changes are measured using not seasonally adjusted data since comparing the same month the previous year is not subject to seasonal patterns.

Analysis
Seasonally adjusted, initial claims in March decreased 1.3%, while year over change claims increased 11.5%. However, the March 2014 claims were 85,843 below the peak of 337,061 in May 2010. Weeks paid year over change has decreased in 40 of the last 50 months since March 2010. Unemployment insurance claims continue to fall slowly as recovery from the Great Recession slowly takes hold in California.

California UI Monthly Initial Claims and Weeks Paid Charts:

The following charts are updated monthly using the most recent data available from the above sources.

Graphical Display illustrates a comparison of initial and continued unemployment insurance claims from January 1989

This chart illustrates a comparison of initial unemployment insurance claims and number of weeks paid from January 1978. For the purpose of this chart, data have been seasonally adjusted by the Labor Market Information Division (using the x12 software provided by the Census Bureau) and a Henderson-13 trend filter is used to smooth data.

Graphical Display illustrates a comparison of initial unemployment insurance claims, continued unemployment insurance claims and the number of unemployed persons.

This chart illustrates a comparison of initial unemployment insurance claims, number of weeks paid, and the number of unemployed persons. For the purpose of this chart, both initial unemployment insurance claims and weeks paid have been seasonally adjusted by the Labor Market Information Division (using the x12 software provided by the Census Bureau) and a Henderson-13 trend filter has been used to smooth data. Unemployed persons is measured monthly and seasonally adjusted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of the Local Area Unemployment Statistics program.

Contact Information:

For questions regarding not seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims, contact the Unemployment Insurance Policy and Coordination Division,
(916) 654-7401.

For all other questions, including seasonal adjustment of data, contact the Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division,
(916) 262-2162.

Note: Seasonal factors have been updated for the entire series beginning with the January 2012 data release.