New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 5,000 (2.7%) for the week ending April 23 to a seasonally adjusted 180,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up from 184,000 to 185,000. The four-week moving average as of April 23 rose to 179,750 from a revised 177,500 as of the week ending April 16.
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 1,000 from the previous week’s revised estimate to 1.408 million, the lowest level since Feb. 7, 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.