DOL numbers indicate that 28.0 million workers are either receiving unemployment benefits or have applied and are waiting to see if they will get benefits (as of September 26, 2020): *But caution, this is an overestimate due to reporting issues (see below)*

Regular state UI: Continued claims Regular state UI: Initial claims PUA: Continued claims PUA: Initial claims Other programs (mostly PEUC, STC, and EB) Total
Cumulative  11,767,000
2,338,120 0


Caution: This is a substantial overestimate. For one thing, initial claims for regular state UI and PUA should be nonoverlapping—that is how DOL has directed agencies to report them—but some individuals are erroneously being counted as being in both programs. Also, some states are including  retroactive payments in their continuing PUA claims, which would also lead to double-counting.

Click here for notes.

Seasonally adjusted data are used for regular state UI claims; seasonally adjusted data are not available for the other components of the chart. Regular state UI continued claims are for the week ending September 19; regular state UI initial claims are for the week ending September 26. PUA continued claims are for the week ending September 12; PUA initial claims are for the weeks ending September 19 and September 26. “Other programs” are continued claims in other programs for the week ending September 12. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is the federal program for workers who are out of work because of the virus but who are not eligible for regular state unemployment insurance (UI) benefits (e.g., the self-employed). “Other programs” includes PEUC, STC, EB, and others; a full list can be found in the bottom panel of the table on page 4 at this link:

Source: Department of Labor (DOL) Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims (News Release), retrieved from DOL,, October 1, 2020.

View the underlying data on