New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 2,000 (7.4%) for the week ending April 16 to a seasonally adjusted 184,000. The four-week moving average as of April 16 rose to 177,250 from a revised 172,750 as of the week ending April 9.
The number of continuing unemployment insurance claims, which refers to the number of unemployed workers who filed for benefits at least two weeks ago and are actively receiving unemployment benefits, fell 58,000 to 1.417 million, the lowest level since Feb. 21, 1970.
Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.
The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.
For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.