Today’s jobless claims report showed a notable decline to both initial unemployment claims and continued unemployment claims as a significant declining trend continued to materialize for both initial and traditional continued claims.
Seasonally adjusted “initial” unemployment declined by 20,000 to 368,000 claims from last week’s revised 388,000 claims while seasonally adjusted “continued” claims declined by 59,000 resulting in an “insured” unemployment rate of 3.0%.
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 4.50 million people receiving federal “extended” unemployment benefits.
Taken together with the latest 4.58 million people that are currently counted as receiving traditional continued unemployment benefits, there are 9.09 million people on state and federal unemployment rolls.
The following chart (click for larger version) shows “initial” and “continued” claims, averaged monthly, overlaid with U.S. recessions since 2007.