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Jobless claims drop

Initial unemployment claims declined 15,000 to 358,000 claims from last week’s revised 373,000 claims while  continued claims increased by 64,000.

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This chart shows the number of initial and continued jobless claims filed over the past two years. Since peaking in 2009, the number of claimants has declined steadily.

Today’s jobless claims report showed a decline to initial unemployment claims and an increase to continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims continued to trend below the closely watched 400K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment declined 15,000 to 358,000 claims from last week’s revised 373,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims increased by 64,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.8%.

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 3.50 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 4.05 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.55 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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