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Unemployment down slightly this week

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(Read caption) This chart shows continued and initial unemployment claims from the beginning of 2009 through last week. Both kinds of unemployment claims declined slightly from last week.

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Today’s jobless claims report showed a slight decline to both initial and continued unemployment claims as a rising trend continued to materialize for initial claims.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment declined by 1,000 to 428,000 claims from last week’s revised 429,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 12,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.9%.

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 3.92 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.30 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.41 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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