The Department of Labor’s latest report on the unemployment situation in the U.S. shows little change from a week earlier, indicating that significant recovery in the jobs market has not yet taken hold. Here’s a look at some of the latest numbers (for the week ending July 17, published at the end of last week):
- Seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims increased 37,000 from the previous week, to 464,000, bringing the four-week floating average up 1,250 to 456,000.
- The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3.5 percent, down slightly from the previous week’s 3.7 percent.
- The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number was 4,487,000 for the week ending July 10, down from the previous week’s 4,710,000.
Week to week, the changes often aren’t very significant and don’t always reflect larger trends; however, last week’s numbers provide a somewhat hopeful picture when compared with figures gathered a year ago:
- Initial unemployment claims under state programs (unadjusted) totaled 498,022 for the week ending July 17; in 2009, the same week saw 585,575 claims.
- The number of people claiming insured unemployment benefits in state programs came to 4,581,351 in the most recent week, which marked a 186,572 person increase from the week prior, but was down from 6,256,960 during the same period in 2009.
These data, like many of the job loss information collected this year, show that recovery in the jobs market continues to be slow and inconsistent. While the national unemployment rate is down slightly from its 10+ percent high, it’s still well above where it needs to be and bankruptcy filing rates continue to remain high.
Unemployment Benefit Extension
Some more-or-less good news for unemployed Americans is that Congress and the White House have reportedly passed legislation that will extend unemployment benefits through November of this year.
The measure, which had difficulty getting through Congress because of Republican opposition, means that those whose benefits have expired or are about to will receive a few more weeks of government support.
While the nation’s unemployment rate clearly indicates that jobless citizens need help, many GOP legislators were apparently hesitant to pass the bill because of the affect it will have on the nation’s deficit.
So how will the extended benefits work? It seems that distribution of the funds will vary by state, so check out local resources to see what steps you need to take if you’re eligible for funding from the extended benefits.