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Initial jobless claims fall slightly

Initial jobless claims declined to 386,000 from last week’s revised 388,000, while seasonally adjusted continued claims increased by 26,000, resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.6 percent.

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This chart shows the number of initial and continued claims for unemployment benefits over the past three years. Since peaking at the height of the recession, the number of people seeking benefits has dropped steadily.

Today’s jobless claims report showed a declined to initial unemployment claims and an increased to continued claims while seasonally adjusted initial claims continued to trend well below the closely watched 400K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” declined to 386,000 claims from last week’s revised 388,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims increased by 26,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.6%.

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 3.20 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.47 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 6.67 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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