Unemployment benefits claims drop to four-month low

Unemployment benefits were down last week, with initial claims falling by 24,000 and continued claims declining by 17,000. Overall, 7.54 million remain on state and federal rolls for unemployment benefits.

This chart shows initial and continued unemployment claims from the beginning of 2009 through last week. Unemployment benefits showed a notable decline from last week, after following a rising trend.

Today’s jobless claims report showed a notable decline to both initial and continued unemployment benefits claims as a recent rising trend was called firmly into question for initial claims.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment declined 24,000 to 398,000 claims from last week’s revised 422,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 17,000 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 3.76 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.78 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.54 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

Add/view comments on this post.


The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of the best economy-related bloggers out there. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here. To add or view a comment on a guest blog, please go to the blogger's own site by clicking on the link above.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.