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Report: jobless claims in decline

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(Read caption) This chart shows the number of initial and continued unemployment claims. After peaking before 2010, numbers have been in steady decline.

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

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment declined 12,000 to 409,000 claims from last week’s revised 421,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 18,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 3.0%.

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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 3.67 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.
Taken together with the latest 3.55 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.23 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.