US jobless claims remain near 4 year low

Initial jobless claims declined to 351,000 claims from last week's 353,000 claims, while continued jobless claims fell by 2,000. 

This chart shows total continued unemployment claims from 2010 to 2012. Jobless claims continue to hover near a four year low.

Yesterday's jobless claims report showed that both initial and continued unemployment claims declined slightly while seasonally adjusted initial claims continued to trend well below the closely watched 400K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” declined to 351,000 claims from last week’s revised 353,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 2,000 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 3.37 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 4.01 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.38 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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