Unemployment claims drop by 13,000

Initial unemployment claims declined by 13,000 and continued claims by 100,000 to well below the closely watched 400,000 level. 

This chart shows the tumultuous path of total continued unemployment claims over the past two years. Jobless claims have dropped after rising at the end of 2011.

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

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment declined 13,000 to 348,000 claims from last week’s revised 361,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 100,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.7%.

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 3.47 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 4.09 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.57 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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