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A closer look at extended unemployment claims

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(Read caption) Continued Unemployment claims since 2008

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Thursday's jobless claims report showed a decline to both initial and and continued claims with a subtle flattening continuing to shape up for both series while total continued claims including federal extended benefits appear to be trending down.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims declined by 19,000 to 457,000 claims from last week’s revised 476,000 claims while “continued” claims declined by 45,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 3.5%.

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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 5.29 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 4.30 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 9.60 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

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