First time claims for Unemployment Insurance benefits dropped slightly for the week ending October 15th, 2011, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday, October 20th. The four week moving average fell for the fourth consecutive week, an indication the job market has improved slightly.
The Department of Labor indicated initial unemployment claims fell to 403,000 for the week ending October 15th. This number is down 6,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 409,000 first time claims. The four week moving average of claims, which helps to smooth out rough spots in the data and to mitigate the effect of the volatility of any particular week on the overall data, dropped to 403,000. This figure is down 6,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 409,250. This is the lowest number since April.
Despite the drop in claims, both the weekly claims data and the four week moving average remain about 400,000. Most economists consider the 400,000 figure to be a crucial milestone. Real improvement in the country’s 9.1 unemployment rate can be expected when the numbers for both drop below 400,000 for several consecutive weeks.
“I think it is both good news and bad news,” economist John Canally of LPL Financial told Reuters. “It is good news that we are not seeing claims go higher, but then again it is bad news that we haven’t seen them drop below 400,000 because the level that claims are at now suggests the unemployment level does not move very much, and that is key because the unemployment rate is probably going to stay near 9 percent until we can push claims down into the mid-threes and we haven’t been able to do that for a while now.”
Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report Data for Week Ending October 15th, 2011
SEASONALLY ADJUSTED DATA
In the week ending October 15, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 403,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 409,000. The 4-week moving average was 403,000, a decrease of 6,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 409,250.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.9 percent for the week ending October 8, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate of 2.9 percent.
The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending October 8 was 3,719,000, an increase of 25,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,694,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,722,500, a decrease of 7,500 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,730,000.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 356,825 in the week ending October 15, a decrease of 47,229 from the previous week. There were 394,016 initial claims in the comparable week in 2010.
The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.5 percent during the week ending October 8, unchanged from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,116,875, an increase of 2,431 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 3.0 percent and the volume was 3,715,967.
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending October 1 was 6,697,346, a decrease of 124,239 from the previous week.
Extended benefits were available in Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin during the week ending October 1.
Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 4,341 in the week ending October 8, an increase of 1,917 from the prior week. There were 3,399 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, an increase of 651 from the preceding week.
There were 24,902 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending October 1, a decrease of 26 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 38,951, a decrease of 183 from the prior week.
States reported 2,967,054 persons claiming EUC (Emergency Unemployment Compensation) benefits for the week ending October 1, a decrease of 48,981 from the prior week. There were 4,040,113 claimants in the comparable week in 2010. EUC weekly claims include first, second, third, and fourth tier activity.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending October 1 were in Puerto Rico (4.9), Alaska (3.8), Pennsylvania (3.5), New Jersey (3.4), Virgin Islands (3.4), California (3.3), Nevada (3.2), Oregon (3.2), Connecticut (3.1), Arkansas (2.9), and Illinois (2.9).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending October 8 were in California (+13,882), New York (+8,568), Texas (+4,644), Washington (+3,728), and Pennsylvania (+3,640) while the largest decreases were in Wisconsin (-1,536), North Carolina (-856), South Carolina (-818), and Virgin Islands (-33).
Tier-specific EUC data
Information on the EB program
State Detail Prior Week
UI Claims Series 1967 to Current
Unemployment Rates for States
Career One Stop State Locator
The Arizona Unemployment Insurance Program
Disaster Unemployment Assistance (Special programs in locations declared by the President as disaster areas.)
Legislative and AZUI Contact Information For Arizona Residents and UI Recipients
Veterans Services in Arizona
Disabled Workers Services in Arizona
Mature Workers Services in Arizona
Youth Services in Arizona
Job Seekers Assistance in Arizona
Who Is Counted as Unemployed?
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