New unemployment claims fall, Labor Department

March 28, 2008 - United States Of America

Seasonally Adjusted Data: In the week ending March 22, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 366,000, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 375,000. The 4-week moving average was 358,000, an increase of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 356,250.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending March 15, unchanged from the prior week's revised rate of 2.1 percent.

The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 15 was 2,845,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,850,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,824,250, an increase of 25,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,799,000.

Unadjusted Data: The advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, totaled 312,867 in the week ending March 22, a decrease of 22,827 from the previous week. There were 273,432 initial claims in the comparable week in 2007.

The advance unadjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4 percent during the week ending March 15, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week. The advance unadjusted number for persons claiming UI benefits in state programs totaled 3,246,517, a decrease of 34,209 from the preceding week. A year earlier, the rate was 2.2 percent and the volume was 2,826,536.

Extended benefits were not available in any state during the week ending March 8.

Initial claims for UI benefits by former Federal civilian employees totaled 831 in the week ending March 15, a decrease of 31 from the prior week. There were 1,419 initial claims by newly discharged veterans, a decrease of 165 from the preceding week.

There were 14,534 former Federal civilian employees claiming UI benefits for the week ending March 8, a decrease of 2,073 from the previous week. Newly discharged veterans claiming benefits totaled 22,312, a decrease of 247 from the prior week.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 8 were in Alaska (4.5 percent), Michigan (4.2), Rhode Island (4.0), Idaho (3.7), Pennsylvania (3.7), Wisconsin (3.7), New Jersey (3.5), Oregon (3.5), Vermont (3.5), California (3.3), and Massachusetts (3.3).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 15 were in Michigan (+6,700), Ohio (+5,486), Missouri (+3,235), North Carolina (+2,586), and Texas (+2,175), while the largest decreases were in California (-5,016), New York (-2,138), Wisconsin (-2,005), Georgia (-1,862), and Florida (-1,651).