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New unemployment claims rising as states tighten restrictions

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Tyler Arnold | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – New unemployment claims rose in the week ending November 21 as some states have begun to institute tighter restrictions on the economy as a means to curb the spread of COVID-19 around the holidays.

Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims for the week were 778,000, which is an increase of 30,000 from the previous week. The four-week moving average was 748,500 initial claims, which is an increase of 5,000 from the previous week’s four-week moving average.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 4.1% for the week ending November 14, which is a 0.2% decrease from the previous week.

More than 20,450,000 people claimed benefits from all programs in the week ending November 7, which was an increase of nearly 135,300. The number last year at the same time was 1,487,844.

California had the highest unemployment rate for the week ending November 7 with 7.9%. Hawaii was the second highest with a 7.1% unemployment rate. Nevada was the third highest state with a 6.9% unemployment rate, followed by Alaska (6.3%), Massachusetts (6.1%), and Illinois (5.9%).

The state with the highest increase in initial claims for the week ending November 14 was Louisiana with 33,573, followed by Massachusetts with 9,859 and Texas with 5,216.

Many states have begun to enforce heavier restrictions in recent weeks, which business groups have cautioned could lead to more initial unemployment claims and eventually higher unemployment numbers. In some states, counties have pushed back against statewide restrictions.