Yesterday's jobless claims report showed a decline for initial unemployment claims and a slight increase to continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims continued to trend below the closely watched 400K level.
Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims declined by 9,000 to 336,000 claims from 345,000 claims for the prior week while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 8,000 claims to 2.868 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.2%.
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 1.37 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.
Taken together with the latest 2.50 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 3.88 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.