Today’s jobless claims report showed notable declines to both initial and continued unemployment claims as seasonally adjusted initial claims dropped below 300K for the first time since mid-2007 though this steep drop appears to have come as a result of under-reporting and is likely to be revised upward next week.
Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment claims dropped by 31,000 to 292,000 claims from 323,000 claims for the prior week while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 73,000 claims to 2.871 million resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 2.2%.
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 1.45 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.
Taken together with the latest 2.74 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 4.19 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.