newsAs reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, initial unemployment insurance claims under all state programs for the week ending February 11 numbered 361,928, nearly 39,328 claims less than the prior week and about 63,000 claims less from the comparable in 2011. During the week ending February 4, the insured unemployment rate was 3.1 percent while the overall number of people claiming benefits was nearly 3.96 million, nearly 133,500 claimants higher than the previous week.

Over the year, the insured unemployment rate fell 0.5 percent with a volume of about 4,575,000 claims. Individuals claiming benefits from any unemployment benefit program for the week ending January 28 was 7,681,911, an 18,304 claim increase over the week.

Former federal civilian employees initiated 1,581 initial unemployment benefits claims for the week ending February 4, a fall of nearly 115 from a week earlier. Initial claims by newly discharged vets decreased to 1,581, a 115 claims decrease over the previous week. In total, there were 30,249 former federal civilian employees receiving unemployment benefits for the week ending January 28, a 435 claims increase over the week. Total claims for newly discharged veterans rose slightly to 42,902 claims, down 62 from the previous week.

Nationwide, over 3 million people claimed Emergency Unemployment Compensation during the week ending January 28, up by 16,568 claims over the week but down about 625,000 claims less than the same period in 2011. The states with the highest rates of unemployment for the week ending January 28 include: Alaska (6.6 percent), Pennsylvania (5 percent), Montana (4.8 percent), Oregon (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 (+5,864 claims), North Carolina (+1,211 claims), Illinois (+761 claims), Puerto Rico (+497 claims), and Kansas (+445 claims).

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