Unemployment Claims Up Slightly, 4-Week Average Lowest Since 2007

The U.S. Department of Labor announced today that the initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits increased by 8,000 last week compared to the previous week. However, the "4-week moving average" saw a decrease of 2,250, bringing that measure to the lowest level it has been since June 2, 2007.

The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending May 17 was 2,513,302, a decrease of 40,279 from the previous week. There were 4,637,937 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week in 2013.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending May 17 were in Alaska (4.3), Puerto Rico (3.0), California (2.9), New Jersey (2.9), Connecticut (2.8), Pennsylvania (2.8), Nevada (2.6), Illinois (2.5), Massachusetts (2.3), Oregon (2.2), Rhode Island (2.2), and Maryland (2.1).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 24 were in New York (+1,347), Ohio (+966), Wisconsin (+669), Louisiana (+642), and Tennessee (+580), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-6,683), Kansas (-2,093), Illinois (-1,407), Pennsylvania (-1,249), and California (-1,170).