WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits came in close to expectations in the August 24 week, falling by 6,000 to 331,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The level of continuing claims for the August survey week was down by 14,000 compared to the week in July when the same survey was conducted.

Expectations for this week's report was for a claims level of 330,000, and decline of 6,000 from the 336,000 previously reported for the August 17 employment survey week. Claims in that week were revised up to 337,000.

A Labor Department analyst said no states were estimated in the current week, and that there no special factors in the report.

The initial claims seasonally adjusted 4-week moving average rose a tiny 750 to 331,250 in the August 24 week, breaking a streak of six straight weekly declines prior to this report.

The analyst said seasonal adjustment factors had expected a 1.0% increase in unadjusted claims, around 2,699, in the Aug. 24 week. Instead, unadjusted claims fell 1.1%, or 2,959, to 277,359. That level is below the 312,542 level reported in the comparable week a year ago.

The state data released for the August 17 week indicated unadjusted initial claims increased in 10 states and declined in 43 states, with none unchanged. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Virgin Islands are included in this data.

The level of continuing claims came in at 2.989 million after seasonal adjustment in the August 17 employment survey week, a drop of 14,000 from the previous week. 

The August 17 week was when the survey for the national employment report was conducted, and the level of continuing claims is also down 14,000 when compared to the July 13 survey week (3.003 million).

The level of unadjusted continuing claims plunged 58,419 to 2,821,658 in the August 17 week, below the 3,117,558 level in the comparable week a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment was unchanged at 2.3% in the August 17 week from the previous week, remaining below the seasonally adjusted 2.6% rate in the comparable week a year earlier.

The unemployment rate among the insured labor force is well below that reported monthly by the Labor Department because claims are approved for the most part only for job losers, not the job leavers and labor force reentrants included in the monthly report.

The Labor Department said the level of unadjusted Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits claims rose in the August 10 week, up 10,551 to 1,511,619.

The Labor Department reported that a total of 4,467,574 persons claimed unemployment benefits in the Aug. 10 week, an increase of 28,918 from the previous week, but still below the 5,530,828 persons in the comparable week a year ago. These data are not seasonally adjusted, and include regular state claims, federal employee claims, new veterans claims, the EUC and extended benefits programs, state additional benefits, and STC/Workshare claims.

Market News International is a real-time global news service for fixed-income and foreign exchange market professionals. See www.marketnews.com.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.