Weekly unemployment insurance claims top 200,000 for first time in nine weeks

Following a change in seasonal adjustment calculations, the U.S. Department of Labor on April 6 revised its figure for new applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits for the week ending March 25 (the week before the changes were announced) from 198,000 to 246,000—an increase of about 24%. The four-week moving average as of March 25 was also revised up from 198,250 to 242,000

For the week ending April 1, new applications came in at a seasonally adjusted 228,000 and the four-week moving average as of April 1 fell to 237,750 from the previous week’s revised figure.

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 6,000 from the previous week’s revised number to a seasonally adjusted 1.823 million for the week ending March 25. The figure for the previous week ending March 18 was revised up 128,000 from 1,689,000 to 1,817,000 following the change in seasonal adjustments. 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.

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