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US unemployment claims move up

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(Read caption) As this chart shows, initial unemployment claims rose slightly but remained well below the 400,000 mark. Continued unemployment claims rose from the last week by 67,000 to 3.018 million.

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Yesterday's jobless claims report showed increases to both initial and continued unemployment claims as initial claims trended well below the closely watched 400K level. 

Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims rose by 5,000 to 333,000 claims from 328,000 claims for the prior week while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims rose by 67,000 claims to 3.018 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.3%. 

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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. 

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Currently there are some 1.51 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits. 

Taken together with the latest 2.92 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 4.44 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.