U.S. weekly unemployment insurance claims fall to 239,000

New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 11,000 for the week ending August 12 to a seasonally adjusted 239,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up by 2,000 to 250,000. The four-week moving average as of August 12 rose 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average to 234,250.

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 32,000 from the previous week’s unrevised number to a seasonally adjusted 1.716 million for the week ending August 5. 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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