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Continued unemployment claims fall

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(Read caption) This chart shows initial and continues unemployment claims over the past two years. Both are down in 2011, though initial unemployment claims went up slightly this week.

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

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment increased 2,000 to 414,000 claims from last week’s revised 412,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 30,000 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 3.59 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.

Taken together with the latest 3.47 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 7.07 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.