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41% lower than same week last year

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Despite creeping up slightly from last week’s total, the number of Americans making their initial unemployment claims is still at a 7-year low, and is down 41% from the same week last year.

For the week ending April 12, the total of seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 304,000. That’s up 2,000 from the revised figure of 302,000 for the week ending April 5, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The 4-week moving average of unemployment claims is 312,000, which is the lowest since October 2007.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained at 2.1% for the second straight week.

The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance was 2,739,000 during the week ending April 5, which is down 11,000 from the previous week's revised level. This is the lowest level for insured unemployment since December 15, 2007 when it was 2,737,000.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 29 was 3,007,392, a decrease of 155,971 from the previous week. There were 5,146,499 people claiming benefits in all programs in the same week last year.

The states with the highest insured unemployment rates for the week ending March 29 were: Alaska (4.9%), Connecticut (3.5%), Pennsylvania (3.5%), New Jersey (3.4%), Rhode Island (3.4%), California (3.2%), Puerto Rico (3.2%), Illinois (3.1%), Massachusetts (3.1%), and Wisconsin (3.1%).

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 5 were Michigan (up 4,285 due to layoffs in the wholesale trade industry), Pennsylvania (up 2,325 due to layoffs in the construction, administrative and support services, and manufacturing industries), New Jersey (up 1,630), Florida (up 1,624), and Georgia (up 1,453).

The states with largest decreases in claims were California (down 13,892 due to fewer layoffs in the service industry), Iowa (down 1,266), Kentucky (down 699), Tennessee (down 582), and Idaho (down 383).

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