Unemployment Insurance Claims Data

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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: January 31, 2019



Graphical Display of California Change in UI Claims

December 2018
In December 2018, 192,677 initial unemployment insurance claims were filed and 1,370,197 total weeks paid in California. Adjusting for seasonality 178,205 initial claims were filed and 1,353,739 weeks paid.


Month over Changes
Initial claims decreased 13,695 (7.1 percent) and weeks paid were up 149,351 (12.4 percent) in December, both seasonally adjusted.


Year over Changes
Initial claims increased 7,805 (4.2 percent) and weeks paid were down 13,945 (1.0 percent) from December 2017. 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 were down over the month 13,695 (7.1 percent) while initial claims were up 7,805 (4.2 percent) over the year. The December year over increase was the 7th in the past 53 months since August 2014. Since the January 2010 recession, initial claims have decreased by 183,188 or (48.7 percent). Weeks paid increased by 149,351 (12.4 percent) over the month and decreased 13,945 (1.0 percent) since December 2017. The December 2018 year over decrease was the 47th decrease in the past 56 months. Weeks paid are down over 1.7 million or (56.1 percent) since high of 3,119,065 in March 2010.

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.