Weekly unemployment insurance claims rise to 205,000

New applications for U.S. unemployment insurance benefits rose 2,000 for the week ending December 16 to a seasonally adjusted 205,000. The previous week’s figure was revised up by 1,000 to 202,000. The four-week moving average as of December 16 fell 1,500 from the previous week’s revised average to 213,500.

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.