- The number of individuals filing initial unemployment insurance claims continued to trend below 300,000 for the 57th consecutive week, the longest streak since 1973 according to the Department of Labor. In the week ended April 2, 267,000 claims were filed, a decrease of 9,000 from the previous week’s level. Initial claims for unemployment insurance are filed by workers who are starting a period of unemployment. Fewer number of claims filed indicates greater job security and stability.
- The continued low level of unemployment insurance claims is one of many labor market indicators that all point to sustained job growth (see Federal Reserve Board Governor Janet Yellen’s Labor Market Indicators Dashboard below). These indicators include the falling headline unemployment rate, fewer part-time workers, lower share of the long-term unemployed (27 weeks and over) to the unemployed, and the rising job openings rate.
Across most states, the number of initial claims filed is lower in Jan –March 2016 compared to the same period in 2015. However, claims have increased in some states, notably North Dakota, Wyoming, and Louisiana where the number of jobless claims are up by more than 10 percent. The increase in filings in these three states is likely associated with falling production as oil prices collapsed starting in mid-2015.