–Continuing Claims -219K from January Survey Week
–Seasonals Expected NSA Claims To Drop 20K But Instead Dropped 40K
By Denny Gulino and Brai Odion-Esene
WASHINGTON (MNI) – Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment
benefits fell by 22,000 after seasonal adjustment in the Feb. 19 week,
bringing the four-week moving average to its lowest since July 2008, the
U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.
A Labor Department analyst pointed to the four-week average as
removing some of the volatility of the past several weeks and its chart
line suggested a return to the downward trend that became noticeable
beginning in September. However, he stressed, it takes a sustained
improvement below 400,000 to have any appreciable effect on
According to the analyst, seasonal factors had expected a 4.6%
decline in unadjusted claims, about 20,000, in the latest week and
instead there was instead a 10% decline of about 40,000.
The analyst added that California provided its own estimate and
that Hawaii, Massachusetts and Oklahoma were fully estimated, not
unusual for a reporting week with a holiday.
Economists surveyed by Market News International had expected
initial claims to rise to 405,000 in the current week. The previous week
was revised to 413,000.
Again, the seasonally adjusted 4-week moving average fell by 16,500
to 402,000, the lowest since the July 26 week of the crisis year of
In the Feb. 12 week, continuing claims dropped by 145,000 after
adjustment to 3,790,000. This is 219,000 less than the previous monthly
survey week January 15. It was the lowest seasonally adjusted continuing
claims since Oct. 18, 2008.
Unadjusted continuing claims dropped by 35,422 to 4,536,884. that
was compared to the year earlier’s 5,546,408.
The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment slipped a tenth to
3.0% in the Feb. 12 week, compared to 3.7% a year earlier.
The unemployment rate among the insured labor force is well below
that reported monthly by the Labor Department because claims are
approved for the most part only for job losers, not the job leavers and
labor force reentrants included in the monthly report.
The Labor Department said that the level of unadjusted Emergency
Unemployment Compensation benefits claims rose by 55,757 to 3,685,361.
Extended benefits dropped 111,087 to 761,481.
The Labor Department reported that a total of 9,158,980 persons
claimed unemployment benefits in the Feb. 5 week, down 89,782 from the
previous week, also well below the 11,393,965 persons in the comparable
week a year ago. These data are not seasonally adjusted, and include
regular state claims, federal employee claims, new veterans claims, the
EUC and extended benefits programs, state additional benefits, and
** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **