The number of people receiving unemployment insurance has fallen to a level not seen since December 2007. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 12 was 2,680,000. That’s 61,000 lower than the previous week and the lowest level since December 6, 2007 when the figure was 2,672,000.
The four-week moving average of people receiving unemployment insurance was also down from last week to a level not reached since 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The four-week moving average was 2,752,250, a decrease of 33,500 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since December 29, 2007 when it was 2,730,250.
The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending April 5 was 2,922,187, a decrease of 85,245 from the previous week. There were 5,065,908 people claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013. That’s a drop of 2,143,721 from the same time last year.
Even though the number of people making an initial claim for unemployment was up in the week ending April 19, unemployment levels were still historically low.
The advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 329,000, an increase of 24,000 from the previous week's revised level. The 4-week moving average was 316,750, an increase of 4,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 312,000.
The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 297,870 in the week ending April 19, a decrease of 20,923 (or -6.6%) from the previous week. The seasonal factors had expected a decrease of 42,668 (or-13.4%) from the previous week. There were 326,264 initial claims in the comparable week in 2013.
The states with the highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending April 5 were Alaska (4.9%), New Jersey (3.6%), Connecticut (3.3%), Illinois (3.3%), Pennsylvania (3.2%), Puerto Rico (3.2%), California (3.1%), Rhode Island (3.1%), Massachusetts (3.0%), Maine (2.8%), Nevada (2.8%), and Wisconsin (2.8%).
The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 12 were in California (up 9,213), Michigan (up 2,900), Pennsylvania (up 2,618), Texas (up 1,792), and Indiana (up 1,723), while the largest decreases were in Oregon (down 2,244), Georgia (down 1,602), Ohio (down 1,007), Massachusetts (down 615), and Illinois (down 571).
The Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the large increase in California was due to layoffs in the service industry.