Improvement is being made in the job market as the continuing claims data and unemployment rate continue to decline. In addition to the continuing claims category and as a result of the pandemic, another category of unemployment insurance has been created, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) category. The PUA program had 11.5 million individuals receiving benefits as of the week ending September 5. This category is almost as large as the regular unemployment category which totaled 12.3 million individuals for the same ending week. As can be seen in the below chart, continuing claims including PUA has improved; however, unemployment assistance across these categories remains at too high of a level.
When examining which states account for a large portion of the claims, there are six. The six states are California, New York, Texas, Michigan, Illinois and Pennsylvania. These six states account for about 50% of the continuing claims as