As reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, initial unemployment insurance claims under all state programs for the week ending February 4 numbered 397,810, nearly 25,000 claims less than the prior week and about 43,000 claims less from the comparable in 2011. During the week ending January 28, the insured unemployment rate was 3.2 percent while the overall number of people claiming benefits was nearly 4.1 million, over 26,000 claimants higher than the previous week.
Over the year, the insured unemployment rate fell 0.5 percent and dipped over 500,000 claims. Individuals claiming benefits from any unemployment benefit program for the week ending January 21 was 7,662,205, an 8000 claim increase over the week.
Former federal civilian employees made about 1,700 initial unemployment benefits claims for the week ending January 28, a fall of nearly 500 from a week earlier. Initial claims by newly discharged vets rose to over 2,800, a 400 claim increase over the previous week. In total, there were just shy of 30,000 former federal civilian employees receiving unemployment benefits for the week ending January 21, a 1,150 decline over the week. Total claims for newly discharged veterans rose slightly to 42, 562 claims, up 66 from the previous week.
Nationwide, nearly 3 million people claimed Emergency Unemployment Compensation during the week ending January 21, down nearly 22,000 over the week and over 750,000 claims less than the same period in 2011. The states with the highest rates of unemployment for the week ending January 21 include: Alaska (7 percent), Oregon (4.9 percent), Wisconsin (4.8 percent), Montana (4.7 percent), and Idaho (4.6 percent). The states reporting the greatest increase in initial claims for the week ending January 28 included: California (+4,571 claims), Washington (+2,795 claims), Florida (+2,293 claims), Texas (+1,485 claims), and Oregon (+1,420 claims).