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Jobless claims report shows continuing downward trends

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(Read caption) This chart shows the total unemployment claims from July 2008 through last month. The latest report shows an increase to both initial unemployment claims and continued unemployment, but initial and traditional continued claims continue in a declining trend.

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Today’s jobless claims report showed an increase to both initial unemployment claims and continued unemployment claims as a significant declining trend continued to materialize for both initial and traditional continued claims.

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment increased by 25,000 to 410,000 claims from last week’s revised 385,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims increased by 1,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 3.1%.

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 4.50 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 4.60 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 9.1 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.

The following chart (click for larger version) shows “initial” and “continued” claims, averaged monthly, overlaid with U.S. recessions since 2007.

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