U.S. jobless claims reach lowest level since May 2008

U.S. jobless claims reach lowest level since May 2008

Post ID: 29045 | POSTED ON: Dec 15, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C — Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the United States dropped to 366,000 in the week ending December 10, reaching its lowest since 2008 after a decrease of 19,000 compared to the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department (DOL) reported on Thursday.

With the country’s unemployment rate at 8.6 percent, the week’s numbers show the lowest jobless claims since May 2008, which was in the middle of the 2007-2009 recession. As jobless claims hovered above 400,000 throughout most of the year, the week’s unemployment claims are also more than 100,000 less than the 478,000 claimed in late April, the year’s peak.

The DOL report shows the 4-week moving average was 387,750, a decrease of 6,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 394,250. In addition, the department revealed that the number of unemployed with unemployment insurance for the week ending December 3 was unchanged compared to the previous week’s 2.9 percent rate.

However, according to the latest DOL report, there was an increase of 4,000 in the number of workers who claimed benefits under regular state unemployment programs, totaling 3,603,000 during the week ending December 3, while the 4-week moving average was 3,666,250, a decrease of 5,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,671,250.

Meanwhile, the unadjusted, advance number of actual initial claims under state programs totaled 433,287 in the week ending December 10, a decrease of 95,506 from the previous week. There were 491,776 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending November 26 were in Alaska (6.7), Oregon (4.5), Puerto Rico (4.5), California (4.1), Pennsylvania (4.0), Wisconsin (3.9), Montana (3.8), New Jersey (3.8), Arkansas (3.7), and Nevada (3.7).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending December 3 were in California (+27,780), North Carolina (+15,427), New York (+14,048), Pennsylvania (+13,634), and Georgia (+11,144) while the largest decreases were in Iowa (-1,785), Wisconsin (-1,586), Puerto Rico(-692), Arkansas (-642), and Vermont (-111).

Photo : The Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C., serves as headquarters for the U.S. Department of Labor.

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