Unemployment claims climb in soft economy

Unemployment insurance claims rise 10,000 to 424,000 for workers just laid off. But the number of Americans continuing to receive unemployment insurance benefits fall.

After falling earlier in the year, initial unemployment insurance claims have climbed back over 400,000.

Today’s jobless claims report showed an increase to initial unemployment claims and a decline to continued unemployment claims as a rising trend continued to materialize for initial claims.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment increased by 10,000 to 424,000 claims from last week’s revised 414,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 46,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.9%.

Since the middle of 2008, though, two federal government sponsored “extended” unemployment benefit programs (the “extended benefits” and “EUC 2008” from recent legislation) have been picking up claimants that have fallen off of the traditional unemployment benefits rolls.

Currently there are some 4.04 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.58 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.63 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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