–Claims Down 11,000 From June 18 Employment Survey Week
–Minnesota Reported 1,750 Claims Related To State Government Shutdown

By Kevin Kastner and Ian McKendry

WASHINGTON (MNI) – Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment
benefits rose by 10,000 to a level of 418,000 after seasonal adjustment
in the July 16 employment survey week, the Labor Department reported

Economists surveyed by Market News International had expected
initial claims to come in at 410,000, up 5,000 from the initially
reported level of 405,000 in the July 9 week. The previous week’s claims
were revised up to a level of 408,000.

The initial claims seasonally adjusted 4-week moving average was
421,250 in the July 16 week, down 2,750 from the previous week and the
lowest level since the April 23, 2011 week.

A Labor Department analyst said seasonal factors had expected a
decline of 4.1%, or about 20,000 unadjusted claims in the current week.
Claims actually fell only 1.9%, or 9,022, to 464,865 in the current
week. Unadjusted claims were at a level of 502,065 in the comparable
week a year earlier.

The analyst also noted that claims data from Alabama were estimated
in the current week, but noted that when the actual data did arrive too
late to be included in this week’s report, it was very close to the
estimates from the Labor Department.

In addition, Minnesota said that about 1,750 of their reported
claims in the current week were the result of state workers filing
during the state government shutdown.

The state data released for the July 9 week indicated unadjusted
initial claims increased in 40 states and declined in 13 states. The
District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands are included in
this data.

In the July 9 week, continuing claims fell 50,000 to 3,698,000
after adjustment, while unadjusted continuing claims actually jumped by
226,332 to 3,761,025.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate dipped to 2.9% in
the July 9 week from 3.0% the prior week, and is still down from the
3.5% rate in the comparable week 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 declined by 80,133 in the July
2 week, bringing that category to 3,153,982. Extended benefits claims
fell 52,999 to 543,712, not seasonally adjusted in the same week.

The Labor Department reported that a total of 7,325,198 persons
claimed unemployment benefits in the July 2 week, a decline of 159,696
from the previous week, and still well below the 8,469,188 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 STC/Workshare claims.

** Market News International Washington Bureau: 202-371-2121 **