New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits rose 21,000 for the week ending May 14 to a seasonally adjusted 218,000. The previous week’s figure was revised down from 203,000 to 197,000. The four-week moving average as of May 14 rose to 199,500 from a revised 191,250 as of the week ending May 7.
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 1.317 million for the week ending May 7. Reporting for continuing claims lag one week. The continuing claims figure was the lowest since Dec. 27, 1969.
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.