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Puerto Rico registers 2nd-highest number of jobless claims in US


By The Star Staff


Puerto Rico ranks second after Nevada on the list of the highest increases in unemployment claims, according to numbers reported by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday.


The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending Aug. 8 were in Nevada (+4,028), Puerto Rico (+3,601), Kansas (+2,248), Hawaii (+247) and South Dakota (+198), while the largest decreases were in New York (-21,366), California (-19,534), Florida (-16,702), Georgia (-11,596), and Virginia (-10,653).


Puerto Rico’s numbers followed a trend from the week before when it also ranked second among the nation’s highest unemployment rates.


The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending Aug. 1 were in Nevada (24.2 percent), Puerto Rico (21.7 percent), Hawaii (19.9 percent), California (17 percent), Louisiana (15.9 percent), New York (15.3 percent), Connecticut (14 percent), the U.S. Virgin Islands (13.8 percent), Georgia (13 percent), and Massachusetts (12.8 percent).


The information is contained in the latest statistics offered by the federal Labor Department.


The department reported almost 1.11 million unemployment claims for the week ending Aug. 15, which brings the total number of claims filed since March 21 to 57.4 million nationwide.


In a statement, the Labor Department said that in the week ending Aug. 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 1,106,000, an increase of 135,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 8,000 from 963,000 to 971,000. The four-week moving average was 1,175,750, a decrease of 79,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 2,000 from 1,252,750 to 1,254,750.


The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 10.2 percent for the week ending Aug. 8, a decrease of 0.4 percentage point from the previous week’s unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Aug. 8 was 14,844,000, a decrease of 636,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised down by 6,000 from 15,486,000 to 15,480,000. The four-week moving average was 15,841,250, a decrease of 326,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised down by 1,500 from 16,169,500 to 16,168,000.


In the case of unadjusted data, the advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 891,510 in the week ending Aug. 15, an increase of 52,776 (or 6.3 percent) from the previous week. Given seasonal factors a decrease of 56,304 (or -6.7 percent) had been expected from the previous week. There were 171,386 initial claims in the comparable week in 2019. In addition, for the week ending Aug. 15, 51 states reported 542,797 initial claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.


The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 9.8 percent during the week ending Aug. 8, a decrease of 0.6 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for people claiming unemployment insurance benefits in state programs totaled 14,265,344, a decrease of 935,998 (or -6.2 percent) from the preceding week. Given seasonal factors, a decrease of 325,080 (or -2.1 percent) had been expected from the previous week. A year earlier the rate was 1.1 percent and the volume was 1,619,391.

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