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Unemployment claims continue to drop

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(Read caption) This chart shows the rates of initial and continued unemployment claims since 2009. Initial unemployment claims dropped by 23,000 over the past week.

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Today’s jobless claims report showed notable declines to both initial and continued unemployment claims as a slight rising trend was firmly called into question for initial claims.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment declined 23,000 to 381,000 claims from last week’s revised 404,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 174,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.8%.

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 3.30 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.16 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 6.47 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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