New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 16,000 for the week ending November 26 to a seasonally adjusted 225,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up from 240,000 to 241,000. The four-week moving average as of November 26 rose to 228,750 from a revised 227,000 as of the week ending November 19.
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, rose 57,000 from the previous week’s unrevised number to a seasonally adjusted 1.608 million for the week ending November 19. 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.