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Continued Unemployment Claims Decline for the 30th Consecutive Week

Thursday, January 21, 2021

OESC on track to pay out more claimants with federal benefits

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) continues to report a decline in continued unemployment claims with the continued claims four-week moving average dropping for the 30th consecutive week. 

“After a slight increase in initial claims last week, it is encouraging to see that initial claims declined this week and continued claims have steadily declined for more than 30 weeks,” said Shelley Zumwalt, OESC Executive Director. “This week, we saw a rise in the initial claims four-week moving average, which is to be expected after the increase in initial claims last week. Our team is continuing to put claimants first and ensuring that Oklahomans get the benefits they need.”

Continued Assistance Act

On Jan. 8, 2021, OESC paid out the first batch of federal benefits from the Continued Assistance Act to eligible claimants. The agency also rolled out a timeline for when other claimants can expect to receive their benefits. 

“Barring any unforeseen roadblocks, we are still on track to distribute payments on Jan. 25 to the vast majority of Oklahomans who are eligible,” said Zumwalt. “All of our testing to date has been successful, and we are continuing to prioritize getting these payments to Oklahomans in need as quickly as possible.”

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending Jan. 16

  • For the week ending Jan. 16, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 5,948, a decrease of 1,069 from the previous week's revised level of 7,017. 
  • Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 6,014, an increase of 183 from the previous week's revised average of 5,831.
  • The advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled 34,591, a decrease of 6,884 from the previous week’s revised level of 41,475.
  • Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 39,339, a decrease of 2,050 from the previous week's revised average of 41,389.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims during the same period was 900,000, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week's revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 848,000, an increase of 23,500 from the previous week. For the week ending Jan. 9, DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.6%, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate.

The national weekly seasonally adjusted initial claims report is one of 10 components in the Composite Index of Leading Economic Indicators. To smooth out the volatility in the weekly initial claims data, a four-week moving average is used to assess trends.

Updated Graphs for Week Ending Jan. 16

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