Unemployment claims decline for the 21st consecutive week

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Unemployment claims decline for the 21st consecutive week

Sat, 11/21/2020 - 14:05
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Continued claims drop 25% week over week below 50,000 for first time since pandemic began

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) reports a continued decline in the initial and continued unemployment claims with the continued claims four-week moving average down for the 21st consecutive week. Since last week, continued claims saw a 25% decrease and fell below 50,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.

“As an agency, we’ve made significant progress over the last five months, but also know with COVID-19 numbers rising we need to continue to prioritize benefits delivery to claimants while also clearing obstructions that claimants may encounter in the process,” said OESC Executive Director Shelley Zumwalt. “Seeing this significant decrease in claims in one week means we are trending in the right direction. The agency has staff dedicated to connecting claimants to job opportunities or training with the ultimate goal of helping Oklahomans find economic stability during these uncertain times.”

Weekly Unemployment Numbers for Week Ending Nov. 14

For the week ending Nov. 14, the advance number of initial claims, unadjusted, totaled 3,887, a decrease of 583 from the previous week’s revised level of 4,470.

Initial claims’ four-week moving average was 4,581, a decrease of 348 from the previous week’s revised average of 4,929.

The advance unadjusted number of continued claims totaled 44,277, a decrease of 14,980 from the previous week’s revised level of 59,257.

Continued claims’ four-week moving average was 57,633, a decrease of 7,261 from the previous week’s revised average of 64,894.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims during the same period was 742,000, an increase of 31,000 from the previous week’s revised level, the U.S. Department of Labor reports. The four-week moving average was 742,000, a decrease of 13,750 from the previous week. For the week ending Nov. 7, DOL reports the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 4.3%, a decrease of 0.3 percentage point from the previous week’s revised 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.

Claimant Resources

Individuals seeking unemployment benefits under the CARES Act should go to https://ui.ok.gov and create an account with the Get Started button to connect their social security number and pull all unemployment information into one location.

Unemployment claimants should be aware that not returning to work when recalled or when work is available could potentially lead to disqualification from receiving unemployment benefits.

Employers may report this activity by emailing returntowork@oesc.state.ok.us, calling 405-962-7524, or mailing OESC at P.O. Box 52006, Oklahoma City, OK, 73152-2006.

If a claimant returns to work full time, they should keep their unemployment claim open with OESC and not certify a weekly claim. If they return part time, a claimant may continue to certify their weekly claim and must report all gross earnings for the week to potentially receive a partial benefit. Eligibility for continued benefits is determined on the circumstances of each individual claimant.

OESC is an excellent resource for people looking to re-enter the job market by connecting Oklahomans with available employment through https://okjobmatch.com/.

If a PUA-eligible claimant reopens their business, they will still receive backdated unemployment benefits to when their COVID-19-related job loss or business closure occurred.