New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 5,000 for the week ending July 23 to a seasonally adjusted 256,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up from 251,000 to 261,000. The four-week moving average as of July 23 rose to 249,250 from a revised 243,000 as of the week ending July 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 25,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.359 million for the week ending July 16. Reporting for continuing claims lags one week.
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.