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Extended unemployment claims drop by 52,000

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(Read caption) This chart shows the number of initial and continued jobless claims since 2009. Claims are trending well below the 400,00 mark – a positive sign for the economy.

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Today’s jobless claims report showed that initial unemployment claims went flat while continued unemployment claims declined as seasonally adjusted initial claims continued to trend well below the closely watched 400K level.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” went unchanged at 351,000 claims from last week’s revised 351,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 52,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.7%.

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 3.40 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.98 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.39 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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