New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 22,000 for the week ending May 13 to a seasonally adjusted 242,000. The previous week’s figure was unrevised at 264,000. The four-week moving average as of May 13 fell to 244,250 from an unrevised 245,250 as of the week ending May 6.
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 8,000 from the previous week’s revised number to a seasonally adjusted 1.799 million for the week ending May 6. 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.