New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits rose 1,000 for the week ending May 7 to a seasonally adjusted 203,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up from 200,000 to 202,000. The four-week moving average as of May 7 rose to 192,750 from a revised 188,500 as of the week ending April 30.
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 to a seasonally adjusted 1.343 million for the week ending April 30. Reporting for continuing claims lag one week. The continuing claims figure was the lowest since Jan. 3, 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.