New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits fell 20,000 for the week ending September 16 to a seasonally adjusted 201,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up by 1,000 to 221,000. The four-week moving average as of September 16 fell 7,750 from the previous week’s revised average to 217,000.
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 21,000 from the previous week’s unrevised number to a seasonally adjusted 1.662 million for the week ending September 9. 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.