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.
- 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 1, 2021
In February 2021, 463,206 initial unemployment insurance claims were filed and 2,818,693 total weeks were paid in California. Adjusting for seasonality 475,164 initial claims were filed and 2,798,829 weeks paid.
Month over Changes
Initial claims increased 31,648 (7.1 percent) and weeks paid were down 454,348 (14.0 percent) in February, both seasonally adjusted.
Year over Changes
Initial claims increased 301,857 (187.1 percent) and weeks paid were up 1,504,164 (114.4 percent) from February 2020. 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.
Seasonally adjusted, initial claims were up over the month 31,648 (7.1 percent), while over the year initial claims were up 301,857 (187.1 percent). The February 2021 year over increase continues a new period in unemployment claims. This is the 12th largest year over increase in initial claims dating back to the series start in 1978. Weeks paid decreased by 454,348 (14.0 percent) over the month and increased 1,504,164 (114.4 percent) since February 2020. February 2021 was the eleventh largest year-over increase in weeks paid since the series start in 1978. February 2021 marks the eleventh month where claims related to COVID-19 have been represented.
The following charts are updated monthly using the most recent data available from the above sources.
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.
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.
For questions regarding not seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims, contact the Unemployment Insurance Policy and Coordination Division,
For all other questions, including seasonal adjustment of data, contact the Employment Development Department, Labor Market Information Division,
Note: Seasonal factors have been updated for the entire series beginning with the January 2012 data release.